In science fiction, there has been a discussion as to what constitutes science fiction. In modern terms, the thoughts are that modern science has to be a part of it. However, this is not a universal opinion. Many works in modern times are not even close to being scientifically accurate. What about works from the past where the science was valid then but later has found to be flawed?
In Kepler’s Dream (Somnium), we find one of the earliest works of science fiction. It is filled with the speculation of travel to another world.
One that would not be realized until the 20th century that used the science that Kepler himself had laid the foundation. Kepler, using observational data collected by Tycho Brahe, developed a set of three laws that govern planetary motion.
This week’s discord chat
Week of Dec 18 2022 [18th at 1 PM EDT (6 PM GMT), 21st at 9 PM EDT (22nd 2AM GMT)]
- Kepler’s Dream (the first work of Science Fiction)
Though not a powerplant, NIF manages to show through experiment that we aren’t wasting our time looking for the panacea of nuclear fusion. In my opinion, this is a breakthrough moment such as the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. There are things that humanity learns to do that ensures the survival of ourselves and the rest of the planet. Fusion is one of them.
In my article about the Kardashev scale, I discuss the level of civilization established by the amount of power available. With the development of nuclear fusion, our Earth’s civilization will reach the level of Class 1. This brings benefits almost beyond belief:
In a recent discussion on Star Talk, Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the implications of the successful experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s National Ignition Facility. Check out the video below.
This Week’s Short Fiction by Torn MacAlester
This week I recommend Stranger a vignette featuring characters from Thunder Moon Tussle by Torn MacAlester. Enjoy!
Big News in Science
Astronomers have a list of things that we assume will be found on exoplanets. In the video below, Dr. Becky reviews JWST’s life detection capabilities.
These capabilities have an impact on the parameters in the Drake Equation. Specifically, the fraction of planets that support life, , can now be constrained by observation. Using the data collected from JWST over the next few years, we’ll have some idea value of this parameter.
Here is another article about planetary atmosphere spectra as it applies to habitability: