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Vernor Vinge


A Fire Upon the Deep
Year 1991
Publisher Millennium  (Orion Books Ltd)
ISBN 1857981278



Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit the far reaches of space, from the superintelligent entities in the Transcend to the simple creatures and technologies that are all that can function in the Unthinking Depths.

When scientists discover an ancient Transcend artefact, they unwittingly unleash a Blight that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all forms of intelligence.  This is the story of the war against the Blight, and of the epic, multi-species fight to save the galaxy from a new dark age.




Winner of the Hugo Award

A Fire Upon the Deep is both a vision of the far future, of a universe so enormous that one can barely conceive its size and power, and a richly inventive, gripping tale of galactic war played out on an epic scale.

'A torrent of new ideas, a fascinating, multi-layered universe of enormous scope, and great character, human and very non-human.  They add up to a big, wonderful story that you won't want to put down.'
Charles Sheffield



Boomerang Nebula



Credit: NASA

Boomerang Nebula
The Hubble Space Telescope has "caught" the Boomerang Nebula in these new images taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys. This reflecting cloud of dust and gas has two nearly symmetric lobes (or cones) of matter that are being ejected from a central star. Over the last 1,500 years, nearly one and a half times the mass of our Sun has been lost by the central star of the Boomerang Nebula in an ejection process known as a bipolar outflow. The nebula's name is derived from its symmetric structure as seen from ground-based telescopes. Hubble's sharp view is able to resolve patterns and ripples in the nebula very close to the central star that are not visible from the ground.

The Boomerang Nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the Southern constellation Centaurus. Measurements show the nebula has a temperature of only one degree Kelvin above absolute zero (nearly -460 degrees Fahrenheit).

NASA Image of the day archive





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