Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Night of Astrophotography

Last night I went with Jeff up between Park City and Kamas and, with his Telescope, took some amazing photos of the night sky. Here are some of the images we captured:

Andromeda Galaxy. You can see the spiral arms and dust in the galazy.

Pleiades. You can see a light blue around a bunch of the stars. These are clouds of dust in between the star cluster and us. (Obviously much more closer to Pleiades).

This is the Orion Nebula. One of the more amazing images taken, we all gathered around the camera and just stared it was beautiful.

This was such a great experience. We left at about 11 and got back at 4am, but it was wonderful to see images that we took of huge objects like galaxies and nebula. I'm excited to go again soon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Well, mere days (2) after I talked about how my stories never get accepted I got this wonderful email:

Congratulations! You are an Honorable Mention in the
3rd Quarter of the Writers of the Future contest.

There was more, but that's the important part. While it is still not a publication it might as well have been because being an honorable mention by Writers of the Future is huge. It is really huge, actually. I am in the top 50 stories out of 10,000+ that were judged. This makes people pay attention to your stories. 

Here is a link for the list:

Anyway, I am really excited about this. 

Oh, and it was for my story Beacon.

Here is an excerpt:

It is difficult to determine the exact structure of the brotherhood between those on the ship. It was similar to the old Earth days when men sailed around the globe with no other communication or companionship than that of their fellow shipmates. No one mentioned the unannounced brotherhood, but it dwelt in the boat and each man felt—on some level, although small—that it warmed them. They all sat there, all shivering, holding each other against the cold and none spoke. Their weary heads bounced as they each dozed; the fatigue trying to win against their violent shivers. It could not win.

The Captain spoke, finally as he slowly began coughing. “Looks like the O2 filter is starting to die.” The others nodded and coughed in agreement. “Billy,” he said to the Engineer, “we need to do something. I know you can't do the calculations for reentry, but you're going to have to try.”

“Sir,” he began.

“We need to get to the surface. It's our only chance of survival.”

“He's right,” the Correspondent said, “another four or five hours and we'll be suckin' down carbon dioxide and all asphyxiate.”

Without a word of acknowledgement or consent, the Engineer started on his calculations, muttering again about the damn system and how he was not a damn pilot. The other's huddled in the cabin while he worked. Their breath was visible to them as if mocking them with the visible CO2 they each breathed out; letting them know that with each breath they were killing themselves.