ORBITAL MANEUVERS now available in multiple ebook formats

For those of you who don’t want to lug around a hard-copy of ORBITAL MANEUVERS, or don’t own a Kindle, you can now download a digital version that is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Palm, Sony Reader and more at Smashwords.com.

I’m looking forward to some great feedback — the only way to improve the process!


Till next time,

RC  Davison


Now that the book is available I can take a short breather to catch up on all the things that have been on my list to do. The following issues have been nagging at me to address, and I apologize for this post is a bit long.

I would like to address the issue of ORBITAL MANEUVERS and the myths and hysteria about 2012.  While no one has made any comments associating the two, I feel it necessary to talk about this for two reasons:

The timing of the release of the book was not planned to coincide with the wave of popular media about 2012 that is being generated by the ton everyday.  It was just by coincidence.  The book has been in development since the late 90’s and at that time, December 21, 2012 was only a date on the calendar.  If life had not interfered with my writing, the book would have been out years ago, sufficiently distanced from this upcoming non-event that I would not feel the need to be writing this.

The second reason for my discourse, and the more important one, is that the fears, anticipation, and madness about 2012 are all for nothing.  Many people in the world are buying into the hype that is being generated to promote this fear and in most cases it is purely for commercial reasons.  In a lot of those cases the information is presented as coming from professionals and experts, who are anything but.  Investigate the credentials of the people involved in this information, you might be surprised.

What bothers me the most from all this is the people who are terrified by this misinformation – children, elderly people, people who don’t have the ability or know-how to question what they read and hear.  It has gotten to the point that some contemplate suicide (including children) and even filicide, the killing of one’s own children, by distraught parents not knowing what is going to happen.

There is no planet Nibiru that is going to collide with the Earth in the next year and a half.  If it was out there, and that close, astronomers would have seen it by now.  You simply can not hide an object that big.  It would make itself known by gravitational affects on objects in the Solar System even if, for some reason, it was very dim and difficult to see.

If you think that the professional astronomical community is silenced by the government, you are forgetting the millions of amateur astronomers worldwide that watch the heavens every night.  This network of astronomers is well equipped to discover such an object approaching Earth, they are constantly identifying new comets and asteroids and many are doing professional quality work.  Also, with the Internet there is no way this information would not get out and eventually be substantiated by the professional community.  These professionals live on this planet, too, and if a disaster were looming, they are going to suffer the same as anyone else.  And, even if you distrust the US government, there are many other countries in the world that have no reason to side with the US and suppress this information.  It would get out.

The alignment of the Earth with the Sun and galactic core is going to happen.  This is true, and it has happened every year since the dawn of time.  The Earth survived, and as evidenced by this discussion, we are still here.  The galactic core is about 25,000 light years away and has no influence on our planet, at least anything that would create the catastrophes predicted.

Another fear is that the planets are going to line up and the combined gravitational pull is going to create havoc on the Earth – earthquakes, tidal waves…  Again, this alignment has happened countless times since the Solar System formed and again, we, and the Earth are still here.   Solar flares?  Yes, they will happen, they always do.   We could suffer blackouts and loss of communications through our satellites in a worst case scenario, but most likely we will have some beautiful Northern and Southern lights to watch as the Sun goes through its paces.

The point I hope to get across is to question these tales of disaster, be skeptical about what they are telling you and do some investigation on your own.  The Internet is a wonderful resource.  It is abused with much misinformation, but there are many sites that strive to post factual, unbiased information to inform and educate.  Investigate, and when you can’t find the answers to your questions, ask someone.  Many sites have links to send in questions.  Also, your local museums, colleges and universities may provide opportunities to learn about and discuss this topic.

We tend to fear the unknown.  The Universe is not something we should fear.  It has many wonders that stretch our imagination and force us to think outside the box, think about our Earth in a much larger context.  By understanding these objects and phenomena we can allay our fears.  Knowledge is power.  Seek the knowledge for your sake, and your children’s.

Questions and comments are always welcome.

Till next time,

RC  Davison

Book Update and Some Ramblings

The book is finished – well except for reviewing the proof copy sometime this week.  Hopefully everything will check out okay and the book will be available in the next week or so.  It has turned out to be a lot more work than I had imagined!  I’m looking forward to getting back to doing some writing, instead of editing, formatting, and tweaking the cover graphics.

In between real work, and working on the book, I’ve tried to keep up with the latest developments in space and astronomy news.  I’m just amazed at the images that keep popping up from the rejuvenated Hubble, the Spitzer telescope, Chandra, and now the marvelous images from WISE and Kepler, among others!  If you have any interest in what is out there in the cosmos, it’s a great time to be alive.  The pictures that are coming back from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Cassini are amazing! And, there is more to come with the soon to be launched James Webb Space Telescope, and the Mars Science Laboratory- Curiosity.

With all this information flooding in, there is bound to be some amazing discoveries about the Universe we live in.  Can’t wait!

Till next time,

RC Davison

Asteroid Watch

ORBITAL MANEUVERS is about a space shuttle’s crew’s struggle to survive a catastrophic asteroid impact on the Earth.  NASA has been monitoring near earth objects (NEO) for many years at varying levels of intensity and funding.  Recently though, it has come to light that with current funding levels available to NASA they will not meet the 2005 Congressional mandated goal of cataloging 90% of all NEO bigger than 460 feet across by 2020. They are on track with monitoring objects .6 miles across and have recorded over 11,000 objects of all sizes.

Consider that the size of Meteor Crater in Arizona is a mile wide, and was caused by an asteroid only 150 feet across – it would have wiped New York City off the face of the globe!  An object 460 feet across is going to be even more devastating – impact energy is 100 times more with a crater almost 2.5 miles in diameter.  The other disturbing statistic is that there are many more smaller asteroids out there than larger ones, so the odds of getting hit are that much greater.  Couple that with the fact that Jupiter just got hit by something big in July, which has the scientific community buzzing that statistically that should not have happened only 15 years after comet Shoemaker-Levy impacted the planet, and you should be getting the picture that there is a lot out there we don’t know about.  Limiting our search to objects 460 feet across can just give us a false sense of security, and leaning on statistics to determine how long we have before the next big one can be very misleading – and deadly.  What is the price tag going to be to pick up the pieces after an impact of a rock 300 feet across on a larger metropolitan center?  I’m sure it will be orders of magnitude larger than funding a comprehensive survey of all Earth crossing objects in our solar system down to the limit of our technology.  Which, I might add, should be an international effort.

With all that being said, NASA has a great site for learning about asteroids – Asteroid Watch.  Another related site that has a tremendous amount of information on NEO’s is the Near Earth Object Program from JPL/NASA.   Both of these sites are worth a look to help one understand just what might be out there and what we know about what has been cataloged.  Education is the key!

Till next time,

RC Davison