New & For Sale
check out my Etsy shop for gift ideas. Or drop me a line and have something custom made.
Also For Sale
NEW: Take a Bow
I've decided to add a new section for those of you out there who would like to share photos and/or comments about your own work. Unfortunately, I've yet to figure out how to add the actual form to this newsletter, so I have created a link.
Woodworking Classes(Located S/SW of Boston)
Learn new skills or hone old ones in small group sessions tailored to the individual. Classes are limited to 3 people and take place in my shop outside Boston. They generally meet once a week for 2-3 hours. The sessions go on as long as students are interested, a few months or a few years.
As students progress, class becomes "open shop" time when they work on the projects of their choice while I answer questions and give suggestions as things come up.
Individual instruction is also available.
(artist's conception of planet and it's sun)
Astronomers have recently announced the discovery of the first (second, counting Earth) potentially habitable planet. Located a mere 20 light years from earth, the planet is one of six that orbits a red dwarf star named Gliese 581.
The planet was discovered by 11 years of close observation of deviations in the star’s orbit. Any deviation caused by the gravitational pull of an orbiting object is noted and anylysed. The technique, called radial velocity, can be used to determine the mass and orbit of planets around a given star.
Other planets have been found that are similar to Earth, including Gliese 581c and Gleise 581d but in each case the planet isn’t quite right. Gleise 581g is in the “Goldilocks zone,” not too hot and not too cold, just right for an atmosphere and liquid water.
Gliese 581g is roughly three to four times the mass of earth with 1.5 to 2 Earth gravities (making it tough to stand). It oribts it’s sun every 36 days so it is “tidally locked” meaning it doesn’t spin on it’s axis as earth does, but rather has one side always facing the sun and the other always dark. This means the actual habitable portion would probably be near the equator in the border between the dark and light sides of the planet.
Gliese 581 is one of our closest neighbors (only 116 stars are closer) and one of less than a dozen that have been studied closely enough to determine if they have habitable planets. The ease of finding Earth-like planets practically in our own neighborhood, suggests that habitable planets may be more common than first thought. Possibly 10-30% of all stars could have planets with the ability to harbor life as we know it.
However, before we get too excited and start preparing for a visit from ET, we should keep in mind that if anything resembling life does exist on Gleise 581g it will probably be closer to bacteria than intelligent aliens. Still, at a mere 20 light years away, it’s possible to imagine humanity visiting the Gleise system some day in the future.
Of course we have to visit Mars first.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this ‘zine.
Do you have ideas for future topics? Comments? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just hit reply and tell me what you think.