Good news. The Kepler mission was just extended through 2016. Kepler is the NASA mission searching for other planets in our galaxy. It is a specially designed telescope called a photometer, which measures light intensity.
Kepler stares at one small section all of the time, a tiny section off the wing of the Cygnus constellation, aka The Swan and The Northern Cross.
When a planet passes in front of a star (called a transit, Venus will be transiting our sun this June), the light of the star measurably changes. Kepler searches for these tiny dips in the brightness. When a dip is detected, that becomes a candidate. Currently, there have been 61 confirmed planets, and there are 2,321 candidates.
Visit the Kepler site to learn more about the mission and how it works.
With all of this data pouring in, I wondered what it would be like if we were able to leave Earth and settle these other planets. How would it change us? How would we remain the same? It was one of the many seeds of inspiration that helped me create The Backworlds.
The Backworlds After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.
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About the author:
M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.