Mercury’s Tidally Locked Orbit

Mercury is weird Mercury’s tidally locked orbit is a good example of how the universe always throws astronomers a few surprises. The planet is tidally (or gravitationally) locked to our Sun, but this is not the typical “synchronous” tidal locking with a 1:1 ratio of rotation and orbit, such as the Moon and Earth, with the […]

Day Side & Night Side – Tidal Locking of Planets

So what is tidal locking? Our Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, always presenting the same face to us. That doesn’t mean that the Moon is stationary, far from it, it just means that it takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around the Earth. The […]

Postcard from Jupiter – First Snaps from Juno

The Juno spacecraft’s JunoCam camera is now operational, and is sending data back to Earth. The camera was switched on six days after the exploration craft entered orbit around Jupiter. Although the first high-resolution images are weeks away, we have our first assembled image of the planet. The shot below was taken at a distance […]

Thank You Kepler! Thousands of New Exoplanets Now Confirmed

The number of new confirmed exoplanets – planets located outside our own solar system – continues to grow at an impressive rate. A massive amount of data is collected by space-based telescopes, which has to then be analysed and verified by astronomers. In the largest single announcement yet, NASA scientists have released information on 1,284 […]

Capturing our First Planetary Snapshots

  Kepler has confirmed more than 1000 planets outside our solar system, but so far only a few of Earth-like size and in the habitable zone — rocky planets with just the right temperature for liquid water. And none of those potential Earth-analogues have been observed directly, but through the interpretation of astronomical data, such […]

New Calvanni Review

Writer Tracy Joyce recently published a great independent review of The Calvanni. Here’s the whole review from Tracy’s blog: The Calvanni (Book 1, The Jakirian Cycle) by Chris McMahon – Monday 27th July 2015 “If you’re after a fast paced, complex adventure with detailed world building, politics and characters, then The Calvanni may be just what you’re looking […]

My SF Short Time Pump Just Published in Dimension6

I’m very excited to announce my SF short Time Pump has just been published in Keith Stevenson’s Dimension6 ezine! Click here to download a free, DRM-free epub or here to download a mobi file! The story was born from an intriguing SF idea and gradually took shape through various edits and critique sessions. I’m sure quite a few of […]