Tag Archives: space

Alpha Centauri – Infographics

This is really cool. On Space.com there is a whole page with a bunch of facts about the Alpha Centauri system, including the newly found planet Alpha Centauri Bb. Most of the stuff I knew about (since these are the kind of things I’m interested in) but seeing things ‘graphically’ really makes it more cool!!

Alpha Centauri Infographic

Alpha Centauri Infographic – Linked from Space.com.

A little perspective

I saw a picture of solar flare this morning comparing it to the size of the Earth. Years ago as a kid I used some old mainframe stream paper to ‘draw’ the solar system at scale (1/1 000 000 000 000). That really puts the whole solar system into perspective (about 9 meters long to fit Pluto on furthest point). The following things could/can be observed using stuff at this ‘scale’.

Scale 1:1 000 000 000 000
Object Description
The Sun A little ball of 1 millimeter in diameter
Earth would be 15 centimeters away from the sun (Moon about 0.4mm away from Earth)
Jupiter about 0.8 meters away (and 0.15mm in diameter)
Saturn about 1.3 meters (rings about 0.2mm in diameter)
Neptune about 4.5 meters
Pluto around 6 meters (average, varies from 4.4m to about 7.3m)
Voyager 1 is about 18 meters away
1 light year is about 11 kilometers away (10.8km)
Proxima Centauri (The closest star) would be about 45 kilometers away!
Sirius (The brightest star) about 93 kilometers away!
Betelgeuse about 6940 kilometers away! (diameter roughly 1 meter estimate)
Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis, middle star of the Orion belt) about 14 000 kilometers away
The largest star known (estimated) has a diameter of about 1.5 meters
Milky way galaxy diameter about 1 000 000 kilometers!
Andromeda galaxy about 24 000 000 kilometers away!!
Speed of light about 1 meter per hour!!!

Kinda put things into perspective – especially the speed of light
Earth compared to Sun flare

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

One small step

With the passing of ‘Neil Armstrong’ I can’t help thinking that we must give more attention things that really make an [positive] impact on us all – especially the exploration of outer space.

As a small tribute to Mr Armstrong I always thought of him as a true gentleman, an example of what a true hero should be. He never let ‘fame’ get to him and did not exploit his position to achieve more than he should – but he did what had to be done and nothing less.

The famous quote ‘One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind’ is just the beginning. It should be continued with something like “which is only the start of the next [small] step towards infinity!”. Both ‘Buzz’es’ would have been proud of that (Aldrin and Lightyear) 😉

I really hope we [as humanity] would set foot again on the moon and will continue to the planets and eventually the stars. Sadly, as things look now we are still to caught up with out petty little differences (as always) and too jealous of each other to allow good to happen to even our ‘own’ neighbor, never mind the possible rivals somewhere. Ironically, the only reason we [they] reached the moon was for a political statement which in the end meant nothing as it wasn’t continued.

Going into space isn’t easy. But it is worth it. If only we can realize that ‘space’ can also be a solution to a lot of our ‘imaginative’ problems here on Earth. I still believe one of our most fundamental problems is that there are only ‘so much’ Earth’ we can share and having too much pressure on its resources is what is driving most [if not all] of our struggles. If we can only learn how to live in space [since there is so much of it] it surely will help.

RIP Mr Armstrong.

ME3 war assets

Well, I started a second play-through of the game to try and ‘max’ out everything I could or do it as best possible. In the process I discovered a few ‘mistakes’ I made during the first attempt – like loosing Miranda (don’t ask me how I managed to to that).

As far as alien assets I got all the possible fleets including both Quarian and Geth fleets. Previously I could not for the life of me get both – had to choose between them. It turns out you have to leave the Rannoch missions until the very end so your Paragon/Renegate is high enough to choose one of the ‘overriding’ dialogue options. In the first iteration I even managed to get Tali to commit suicide… ouch!

Another thing I discovered that I didn’t know before was that the Omega missions are not accessible if you have Mordin and the Genophase cure saved since Maelon isn’t required to get the possible cure anymore. I happened to have both so I missed the Omega mission(s) again. Then there was the pleasant surprise to have Miranda survive her Horizon mission. Again I managed to miss the critical dialogue decision the first time that managed to ‘save’ her.

So in the end I managed to gather a war asset strength of just below 8000 (7978). I promoted a couple of multiplayer ‘squads’ as well that helped and I could have tried to add some more if I wanted.

Of course to actually make use of all those assets you must play the multiplayer (each day to keep it 100%). I’ve started to really like it but there are a couple of things I could suggest they add to the multiplayer ‘experience’ – like having the ability to invite friends from in the game (say on the lobby screen or just after finishing a good game where you were impressed by someone).

I also like the new multiplayer manifest pages they added (e.g. mine). They should also add stats on your kills as well as kill count per weapon/power. This could make it useful to see what weapons/powers you do the best with so you can enhance it or improve how you play. Of course, this is also useful to see how your friends are doing and how you all can compliment each other.

A couple of screenshots of the war:

The fleets arrive!

This sequence really is the epic high-point of the whole ‘Mass Effect’ series. The moment you/Shepard worked to hard to achieved. Pitty it turned out to be all for nothing…

And starts to move towards Earth…

Open fire!

Engaging the Reapers

Fighters enter the battle…

Fighters start to move around

The Reapers starts returning fire!

Alliance ship gets blown to hell (and back)

Chaos, blood and guts and more chaos!

This is not war – this is carnage and the Reapers are feasting…

Update: Well I’ve finished the game again – this time with fleet strength maxed out so that when I chose the ‘destroy’ option (don’t get me started about the bad ending again…) that hidden/secret video clip plays hinting that Shepard may still be alive. To be honest – that is more like I would have liked the game should have ended… Alternatively, a clip of Shepard and Garrus meeting at the bar (in heaven) should have been played… (ok but Garrus is not dead yet in ‘my’ game’s ending…).

Space, the final frontier?

Being a bit of a space/science nut and also a sci-fi lover I often read articles related to these things when I get a chance. Yesterday I happen to stumble across a few images of some old space station ideas dating back to the 60’s/70’s with the O’Neil cylinder/Three island concept. People that time had really grand ideas where we would be by ‘now’. Perhaps it was a bit ambitious but at least they dreamed and saw some hope for ‘all mankind’.

Fast-forward to present time. We have no big space stations, regular space trips, no bases on the moon or mars, no traveling to the stars – not even (tangible) plans for any of these in the immediate or near future. Seems everyday things like politics, money, power (the political kind) are too important for anyone to still have great dreams for ‘man kind’. Funny, all those things are the ones our ‘mothers/fathers’ warned us about to avoid… but we don’t listen, like usual.

Even on the fictional track of life things are dying. When last did we have a good sci-fi show (space oriented)? I’m busy watching the whole Babylon 5 series on DVD and this is probably what started making me think about these things. I long for the times I had ‘time’ (and the willpower) to do proper reading of a good sci-fi book. The last book I was busy with but somehow abandoned was the third Rama book (like in Rendezvous with Rama).  Damn, I must make time for that again… Why did sir Arthur C Clarke had to go and die? I miss him!

Why did ‘we’ stopped dreaming big?