Caturday’s Astrophenia | Did Juno ’bout dat Jupiter flyby?


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Welp, sometime this coming Monday, the Juno mission probe will begin its exploration of the King of the Planets, mighty Jupiter itself. I’ll be keeping an eye out online for news of the rendezvous to get the full spectacle in my browser tab’s view.

Meanwhile, this last evening, I was watching lightning flash in the clouds above my neighborhood and decided that for purposes of my Gods of Terra SF setting, I’m getting rid of psionic, or ‘psychic’ abilities as a plot-device. Bear in mind, I’m not being ‘obsessed with reality’ here, but merely noting that in a universe with alien technology-based powers (referred to from here on as ‘Myria’), biological brain-based psychic mental powers are redundant, with all of the usefulness of a fifth wheel without any tire or treads.

Note: Gods of Terra (unlike Lyapunov’s Children) is pure space opera, not Hard SF, and indeed can seem a bit comic-bookish in terms of what’s possible, with its world-bending alien relics and sometimes godlike alien entities.

Hypershards and similar brain implant-based technologies already do all the work of psionic powers with none of the same drawbacks or implausibilities, even with the liberal sprinkling of technobabble I’ve applied to them. No doubt there are problems still, and I’ve even found a few myself.

I’ve rarely even mentioned psionics in my fiction for the setting, so there’s no great loss to ditching the concept altogether. Think of it as pruning the bonsai, trimming the hedges, and simply getting rid of an idea that has no purpose not better served by something else more unique to the setting.

In the coming months, I’ll be elaborating on further ideas for hypershard technology and possible counter-technologies. After all, there must be a reason why wavetouched haven’t taken over the Local Galaxy, or they would have done so already, right? Maybe.

This weekend marks the end of my self-imposed spring break in Bengali study. So now I begin full reviews and further study of new material from my textbook, all 13 units, 14-26, from Part 2 of Complete Bengali. This last Friday I’ve completed chapter quizzes from units 1-13 of Part 1, and the next 18 weeks will offer plenty of time to reach an acceptable level of mastery before moving on to Part 3’s advanced study in the semester following.

That will be cool.

So, make this weekend a good one, and in Soruggon…

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Galaxy and Planets Beyond Bristlecone Pines

Sunrise Solstice over Stonehenge

NGC 6814: Grand Design Spiral Galaxy from Hubble

Cirrus over Paris

Solstice Dawn and Full Moonset

Sagittarius Sunflowers

Strawberry to Honey Moonrise

Jupiter’s Clouds from New Horizons

Anticrepuscular Rays over Colorado II

Juno Mission Trailer

From Alpha to Omega in Crete

The New world Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness

Juno Approaching Jupiter

Firefly Trails and the Summer Milky Way

Image of the Fortnight:

30 Doradus in Ultraviolet, Visible, and Red Light

The Astrognuz:

Juno and the Deep Space Network: Bringing the Data Home

Donald Trump is the Inevitable Result of Decades of GOP Denial of Reality

NASA Maps California Drought Effects on Sierra Trees

Dawn Completes Primary Mission

Behold the Distant Universe!

GRBs Can Be Used as Standard Candles

A First: NASA Spots a Methane Leak from Space

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft to Kick into Planned Autopilot for July 4 Jupiter Burn

Bezos is Building a House for His Big Brother

Small Meteorite Hits a House in Thailand

Five Things About Coral and CORAL

NASA Rover’s Sand-Dune Studies Yield Surprise

Very Large Telescope Images of Jupiter Prepare Us for Juno Arrival

Stealthy Black Hole Hints at Millions More

New Instrument Brings Coasts and Coral Into View

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Enters Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

NASA Completes Awesome Test-Firing of World’s Most Powerful Booster

Rosetta Closeup of Comet 67P Reveals Gravity Not a Big Issue for It

All in the NAAMES of Ocean Ecosystems and Climate

NASA’s Juno Peers Inside a Giant

The Great Photon Escape

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