This Week 1–6 January 2023

Short science fiction by Torn MacAlester


The Kardashev Scale

The Kar­da­shev scale is a means of con­ve­nient­ly mea­sur­ing the pow­er out­put of a civ­i­liza­tion.  The scale tra­di­tion­al­ly has three lev­els, called I — plan­e­tary, II — stel­lar , & III — galactic.

A Type I civ­i­liza­tion has a pow­er out­put of approx­i­mate­ly 10^{17} Watts. This is a fac­tor of ten thou­sand times greater than the Earth civ­i­liza­tion’s cur­rent pow­er out­put of 10^{14} Watts.

The recent break­through with fusion pow­er may put our civ­i­liza­tion on track for becom­ing Type I soon­er than with­out it. Check out my arti­cle on the Kar­da­shev scale here.

Below, Michio Kaku com­ments on the the Kar­da­shev scale and our tra­jec­to­ry to reach Type I with­in about a century.


This week’s discord chat

Week of Jan 1 2023 [1st at 1 PM EDT (6 PM GMT), 4th at 9 PM EDT (5th 2AM GMT)]

  • The Kar­da­shev Scale

Thunder Moon Tussle Trailer

Thunder Moon Tussle by Torn MacAlester available on

This Week’s Short Fiction by Torn MacAlester

This week, I offer a glimpse of a vol­canic win­ter set­ting in: The Moun­tain

A new novel by Torn MacAlester

The long awaited sequel to Thunder Moon Tussle:

Mask of the Joyful Moon

Coming Soon

Water on the Moon


Its not so out­ra­geous as it seemed at first glance. The Moon has water in unusu­al places.

The solar wind is com­posed of most­ly hydro­gen. The rate of solar wind flow is \inline 10^{-14} M_{\bigodot } yr^{-1}. That is the same as  \inline 4\times 10^{35} pro­tons per sec­ond stream­ing away from the sun in all direc­tions, or \inline 2\times 10^{25} pro­tons impact­ing the Moon’s sur­face per second.

Many lunar rocks are oxides, pro­vid­ing the source of oxy­gen.  If every pro­ton impact­ing the Moon’s sur­face turns into water mol­e­cules, then we have on order \inline 10^{25} mol­e­cules or 200 grams of water being formed every sec­ond just below the Moon’s sun­lit surface.

This water would be formed inside the rocks and regolith with a depth depend­ing upon the inci­dent ener­gy of the protons.

Realistic Large Scale Space Construction

Inter­est­ing web page with large scale space struc­tures and cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy readi­ness lev­el (TRL) estimates:

To date, the largest struc­ture built in space is the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion (ISS).  ISS took over a decade to build and required over a decade to assemble.

The fol­low-on space sta­tions that are expect­ed to be built in the com­ing decade are all small­er but are expect­ed to be com­mer­cial outposts.

But the real­ly big space sta­tions that could have there own spin grav­i­ty remain on the far hori­zon.  Two exam­ples are the Stan­ford Torus Space Set­tle­ment, and the O’Neill Cylin­der.

Space Cities Out of Aster­oids and Graphene Bags? Intrigu­ing O’Neill Cylin­der Study


Recent­ly, both Vol­canos on Hawai­i’s big island stopped erupting.

The Hun­ga-Ton­ga vol­canic erup­tion of last Jan­u­ary con­tin­ues to pro­vide a wealth of new sci­ence. Vol­canos con­tin­ue to sur­prise us. And this erup­tion is no excep­tion.  In the arti­cle below, the authors explain how the erup­tion effect­ed Earth­’s ionos­phere more than many solar storms.


Ton­ga Erup­tion Made Waves in Earth’s Ionosphere

Extrasolar Planets

Data­base of Extra­so­lar Planets:

Meth­ods for find­ing exoplanets:

This helps deter­mine the frac­tion of stars hav­ing plan­ets and the num­ber of plan­ets per star for the Drake Equation.

Using spec­tra to deter­mine com­po­si­tion and chem­istry of atmosphere:

This relates to frac­tion of worlds hav­ing life from the Drake Equation.

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