When will we have VUE Lens?

!-SPOILER ALERT-!

In the book ASTEROIDS – Bridge to Nowhere several characters use a device I named VUE Lens.

This is a great of example of technology in development today, but not ready for everyday use by the mass market.

In the book, VUE Lens are a common everyday product most people can afford to use like glasses as their primary interface to access the internet.

Characters use VUE Lens for Virtual Reality(VR) and Augmented Reality(AR) applications.

The characters in the book use hand motions and finger presses in mid-air to control their Lens.

The young boy Ethan uses his VUE Lens to play games. His sister users her Lens to take part in a group video chat session, while the Secretary of Interior Jerome Hargrove III, is addicted to his VUE Lens using them for quick, sometimes frantic searches.

Microsoft Hololens


I created and wrote about VUE Lens in 2014, before Microsoft introduced a similar concept called HoloLens in January 2015. For several months after the launch of Hololens, developers could only purchase the device.

Microsoft has now announced Hololens 2 – you can Pre-order a set for only $3,500 USD. This is better, but still far from being an affordable, everyday consumer device.

Magic Leap one

Another product in development is the Magic Leap One. These things look Spacey! The Magic Leap announced the Magic Leap One Dec. 20, 2017 after years of development in secrecy and more than $2 Billion in funding.

The Magic Leap One design is closer to what I envisioned for VUE Lens, but I imagined them as lighter and less bulky. You can order your very own pair of Leap One for only $2,295.00

That’s more than twice the price of the top end iPhone.

APPLE Glasses

Rumored has it that Apple is developing glasses that will interface with an iPhone.

The glasses would enable Augmented Reality applications (AR) and rumor has it they will ship by the second quarter of 2020.

Apple keeps a tight lid on unannounced products, so we will have to wait for more leaks or news from Apple before we have more details.

 

Because ASTEROIDS takes place in the near future, my aim was to present the reader with technology that would be available not too far in the distant future.

I didn’t focus on hard science fiction but coined the term “science-faction” because I included technologies just out of reach from users today.

I thought it might be fun and intriguing for users to google the products and technologies to learn more and maybe get more people interested in science and technology.

We will have to wait and see when an affordable consumer product like VUE Lens makes it to market. I guess that will be someday in our futures.

 

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We’ve been hit before! It will happen again!

Asteroid impact on Earth

Our Earth, the planet we call home feels safe and cozy, but it hasn’t always been that way and chances are that someday another large asteroid will impact Earth.

Here is a list of Famous Craters around Earth – the results of previous collisions between Earth and Asteroids.

You can click on the “Calculate Impact Effects” links below and use Purdue’s Impact:Earth! to calculate the effects of these famous asteroid impacts.

Take a look at the Tunguska Fireball below. On June 30th, 1908 an asteroid 60 meters (196 ft.) in diameter is believed to have exploded in the atmosphere. The explosion flattened trees in the forests up to 700 miles away. Imagine if that asteroid had stayed aloft for a second or two longer before exploding. Cities like Paris or London would have been wiped off the map. (check the Wikipedia entry)

Famous Craters

  • Meteor Crater, USA Projectile Diameter: 40 m
    Projectile Density: iron (8000 kg/m3)
    Impact Velocity: 20 km/s
    Impact Angle: 45 degrees
    Target Type: Sedimentary Rock
    Calculate Impact Effects
  • Tunguska Fireball, Siberia 1908 Projectile Diameter: 60 m
    Projectile Density: rock (2700 kg/m3)
    Impact Velocity: 20 km/s
    Impact Angle: 45 degrees
    Target Type: Sedimentary Rock
    Calculate Impact Effects
  • Ries Crater, Germany Projectile Diameter: 1500 m
    Projectile Density: rock (2700 kg/m3)
    Impact Velocity: 20 km/s
    Impact Angle: 30 degrees
    Target Type: Crystalline Rock
    Calculate Impact Effects
  • Chesapeake Bay, USA Projectile Diameter: 2300 m
    Projectile Density: rock (2700 kg/m3)
    Impact Velocity: 20 km/s
    Impact Angle: 45 degrees
    Target Type: Water, depth 300 m
    Calculate Impact Effects
  • Chicxulub, Mexico Projectile Diameter: 17500 m
    Projectile Density: rock (2700 kg/m3)
    Impact Velocity: 20 km/s
    Impact Angle: 45 degrees
    Target Type: Water, depth 100 m
    Calculate Impact Effects

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The Meteor Impacts and Craters in ASTEROIDS are real

That’s right! The meteor impacts and craters described in ASTEROIDS were created with an asteroid impact simulator called Impact:Earth! developed by Purdue University.

Purdue’s Impact:Earth! lets users input parameters such as the asteroids diameter, density, impact angle, impact velocity and the composition of the impact location then generate the results.

I used Impact: Earth! to create several of the impact craters in ASTEROIDS.

You can visit Impact:Earth! to create your own Earth destructing asteroid impact.

Below are the results of the meteor impact I used for the destruction of downtown Perth, Australia.

Earth Impact Effects Program

Robert Marcus, H. Jay Melosh, and Gareth Collins

Please note: the results below are estimates based on current (limited) understanding of the impact process and come with large uncertainties; they should be used with caution, particularly in the case of peculiar input parameters. All values are given to three significant figures but this does not reflect the precision of the estimate. For more information about the uncertainty associated with our calculations and a full discussion of this program, please refer to this article

Your Inputs:

Distance from Impact: 1000.00 meters ( = 3280.00 feet ) Projectile diameter: 80.00 meters ( = 262.00 feet ) Projectile Density: 8000 kg/m3 Impact Velocity: 45.00 km per second ( = 27.90 miles per second ) Impact Angle: 60 degrees Target Density: 2750 kg/m3 Target Type: Crystalline Rock

Energy:

Energy before atmospheric entry: 2.17 x 1018 Joules = 5.19 x 102 MegaTons TNTThe average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 1.4 x 104years

Major Global Changes:

The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth’s axis (< 5 hundreths of a degree).The impact does not shift the Earth’s orbit noticeably.

Atmospheric Entry:

The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 29800 meters = 97600 ftThe projectile reaches the ground in a broken condition. The mass of projectile strikes the surface at velocity 40.2 km/s = 25 miles/sThe impact energy is 1.73 x 1018 Joules = 4.14 x 102MegaTons.The broken projectile fragments strike the ground in an ellipse of dimension 0.299 km by 0.259 km

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?

Crater shape is normal in spite of atmospheric crushing; fragments are not significantly dispersed.
Transient Crater Diameter: 3.1 km ( = 1.92 miles )Transient Crater Depth: 1.09 km ( = 0.68 miles )
Final Crater Diameter: 3.61 km ( = 2.24 miles )Final Crater Depth: 435 meters ( = 1430 feet ) The crater formed is a complex crater. The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 0.0133 km3 = 0.0032 miles3 Roughly half the melt remains in the crater

Ejecta:

What does this mean?

Your position was inside the transient crater and ejected upon impact

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20 Fascinating Asteroid Facts

 


Out from nowhere, a ball of fire can emerge and hit the Earth like a speeding bullet resulting in an explosive collision releasing as much energy as tens of thousands of megatons of TNT! Results? An extinction-level event that can wipe out most or all of life forms on this blue orb that we call home! What can cause this? Yes, you are right! An asteroid! Looming somewhere deep in the darkness of our very own Solar System, these asteroids are messengers of eminent doom! The question is, ‘when’? No one knows but someday, mankind will have to face this threat. So, let us today learn 15 fascinating facts about asteroids and find out what they really are and what they are capable of! Are you ready?

Asteroid Facts: 1-10

1. Asteroids are amazing celestial objects that hang in our Solar System. There is a whole reservoir of these objects hanging between Mars and Jupiter. How many of them are there? Millions of them! This reservoir is known as asteroid belt.

2. Asteroids are not new or sudden creations. They are old, very old! In fact, they are as old as our planet Earth or any other planet in our Solar System. These asteroids share a common birth with our planets. About 4.6 billion years ago when our Solar System was forming, objects would collide with each other, sticking together to form larger objects and eventually forming planets and satellites. Some of these objects broke apart on collision and failed to gain mass. These unfortunate ones are the asteroids!

3. As far as chemical composition of asteroids is concerned, they are home to wide range of minerals, metals and other substances. Asteroids that were formed by breaking away from some planets inherit a similar chemical composition as the planets. 4. The chemical composition of asteroids undergoes changes while orbiting the sun. This happens because of various chemical reactions that take place. Asteroids that are far from the sun usually have silicate rock composition. Those that are close usually are carbonaceous. 5. There are metallic asteroids present as well. They are mostly made of iron but may also contain other metals like platinum, gold, palladium, iridium etc. There may be some asteroids that have half metallic and half silicate composition. 6. Asteroids often collide with each other. Upon collision, smaller ones can break and end up as dust on the larger ones. This dust is known as regolith. It is not necessary that asteroids will collide only with other asteroids. Any object that crosses their path can collide. 7. Asteroids are pretty dangerous. Collision between asteroids can throw them out of their orbits and set them on a collision course with planets. Earth is not immune to such impacts. As a matter of fact, collision between asteroids and planets shape the very fabric of a planet. Earth as experienced numerous asteroid collisions ever since it birth. 8. Collision of asteroids with planets is known as impact event.

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I Met the Owner of the Bridge to Nowhere

Last weekend I hiked up to the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s not a fictional bridge created for my book. It’s a real place! The Bridge to Nowhere was built in 1936 and spans the East Fork of the San Gabriel River. It was meant to be part of a road connecting the San Gabriel Valley with the town of Wrightwood. The road was under construction when it was washed out during the great flood of March 1st, 1938. The road project was abandoned due to the floods leaving the completed bridge stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Reaching the bridge these days requires a five-mile hike on a rugged trail climbing over rockslides, granite boulders, darting past prickly Yucca plants, and crossing the San Gabriel River several times.

Once you reach the bridge you might be surprised to find a very active Bungee Jumping operation. This was my third time visiting the bridge but the first time meeting the current owner of the bridge and surrounding area, Dr. Ron Jones.

Ron has operated Bungee America since 1989 which is the only government certified bungee jumping company in California and counts more than 162,000 successful jumps.

I brought a copy of ASTEROIDS – Bridge to Nowhere with me on the hike to take some photos. When I met Ron and learned that he owns the bridge, I joked that I might owe him royalties for using an image of the bridge on the book cover.

He responded that if I gave him a copy of the book, he would call it even! I was happy to give him the copy I’d brought on the hike.

Ron also confirmed there are several old gold mines in the canyon, just as I described in the book, but I doubt any have been converted into something quite like Munday’s Hide-a-way!

If you’d like to schedule a bungee jump visit www.BungeeAmerica.com

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3 Asteroids are Zipping Past Earth Today

Is this the start of something?

Is Earth at Risk?

Almost every week there is news of a new, undiscovered asteroid flying past Earth.

How long until one comes too close?

If a meteor struck Earth, how would it be portrayed in the media?

Would the government invoke the Bliss Protocol like in the book ASTEROIDS to keep the public calm and ignorant?

 

Three asteroids are expected to hurtle past Earth today (Sept. 9). One will pass as near as 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) — closer than any potential asteroid near-miss for the next three months.

Asteroid 2019 QZ3 flew by at 6:49 a.m. ET; asteroid 2019 RG2 follows at around 3:13 p.m. ET, and the third, asteroid 2019 QY4, flashes past at 9:10 p.m. ET, the International Business Times reported.

QZ3 is the biggest of the trio, with a diameter of 220 feet (67 meters), while RG2 and QY4, respectively measure approximately 66 feet (20 m) and 52 feet (16 m) in length, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

 

Space rocks such as these, known as near-Earth objects (NEOS), are nudged by the gravity of neighboring planets into orbital paths that carry them fairly close to our cosmic address. But “close” in space is a relative term: At the closest point in their passage, all three of today’s asteroid visitors will be farther from Earth than the moon is, according to CNEOS.

RG2 is the fastest asteroid, speeding by at a velocity of nearly 50,000 miles per hour (80,000 kilometers/hour), while QY4 is moving at just over 17,000 mph (27,000 km/h). QZ3 is the slowpoke of the group, at 16,700 mph (26,800 km/h), according to IBT. Though QZ3 is the biggest asteroid, it is also the furthest from Earth, at a distance of approximately 2.3 million miles from our planet, CNEOS reported.

Another asteroid — 2006 QV89 — was previously thought to potentially follow a trajectory that could slam into Earth, with a 1-in-7,299 chance of an impact on Sept. 9. But experts announced in July that the asteroid did not appear in the area of the sky where it would have shown up if it were on a collision course with our planet, representatives with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said in a statement

CNEOS representatives confirmed on Aug. 15 that QV89 was no threat to Earth, and that the asteroid would instead rocket past our planet on Sept. 27 “at a comfortable distance of 4.3 million miles (6.9 million km), about 18 times the distance of the Moon.”

Currently, there are 878 NEOs that demonstrate some risk — however small it might be — of colliding with Earth, according to a list maintained by the European Space Agency (ESA). Of these, the biggest (and second on the list) is asteroid 1979 XB. Measuring about 2,300 feet (700 m) in length and traveling at more than 58,000 mph (93,300 km/h), the massive space rock is expected to come calling on Dec. 14, 2113, ESA reported.

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