Aurora borealis

The Sun has been busy lately. Recent coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are hitting the Earth’s atmosphere even as I write this. Because of this atmosphere and the Earth’s strong magnetosphere, the results should be limited to spectacular aurora.

Curious about what happens when CMEs hit Mars, a planet with no magnetosphere and a much thinner atmosphere? Find out in the latest Generation Mars book: Shelter.

 

Shelter receives Five Star review from Readers’ Favorite

“Douglas D. Meredith created this series as an introduction to hard science fiction for children. Shelter will engage children in wanting to know more about science, planets, and space, and should appeal to a variety of ages. The vocabulary isn’t dumbed down but explained in a manner that makes even the more difficult concepts easy to understand. The attention to detail is precise. Meredith weaves in an undercurrent of longing for earthly things such as wanting to play on the surface, sit and look at the sky, feel the grass, and climb trees. Humor is derived from the way the sisters interact. They may have been born on Mars but they still behave like ordinary kids, such as Ori being excited about working in the crop domes or the two trying to sneak out with a soccer ball to play on the surface. Their relationship is at the heart of the adventure as their love for their family drives them forward and pushes them to be courageous. The illustrations are in black and white which pairs well with the hard science fiction genre and portrays vivid images of the landscape of Mars. This is a great resource for children as it is informative and humorous, with likable characters and an adventure that will spark interest in the genre and a desire to learn about science. Notes are featured after the adventure and include coronal mass ejections, radiation, and gene editing.”

Readers’ Favorite Five Star Press Release – Shelter

Shelter is now available

Readers of all ages,

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two is now officially released.

The family is on an away mission when a solar particle event forces them to seek shelter where they can. As conditions go from uncomfortable to desperate, it falls to the sisters to save the family. It’s a struggle for survival in which they learn the full meaning of shelter.

Available now on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733731040

 

Coronal mass ejection

Sometimes, twisting of magnetic fields within the corona gets so tight that the tension abruptly snaps, sending massive loops of plasma racing away from the Sun in an event called a coronal mass ejection (CME). Most of the time, these clouds of particles dissipate into space without causing any harm.

Sometimes, the cloud of particles is pointed straight at one of the inner planets. When this happens, the high-speed charged particles slam into the planet in what is called a solar particle event (SPE). For planets with thick atmospheres and strong magnetic fields, most of the energy dissipates far above the surface. Mars has neither a thick atmosphere nor a strong magnetic field. When an SPE occurs on Mars, the surface is flooded with high energy particle radiation.

Sometimes, two or more CMEs will happen in the same place on the Sun, one after another. When this happens, the first clears a path for the ones that follow, allowing them to race even faster out into the solar system.

Sometimes, two or more CMEs will happen in the same place on the Sun and point straight at one of the inner planets. When this happens, the SPE on the planet can go on for several days.

One time in particular, when a mother and father and their two children were on their first camping trip, that planet was Mars.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two

Coming March 1st

(available for pre-order now: https://www.amazon.com/Shelter-Generation-Mars-Book-Two/dp/1733731040)

(image: Luis Peres)

Niger Vallis

“I’m open,” said Nyla. Cas looked up and saw that her mother was standing with knees slightly bent, ready to receive. Cas passed her the ball, and her mother trapped it and dribbled to another spot before passing it back. They continued this—laughing, dribbling, chatting, and passing—until their shadows grew long and the fat blue Sun fell behind the rim of Dao Vallis, far down-canyon from them.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two
Coming in March
(image: Niger Vallis near confluence with Dao Vallis, composite from Google Earth Pro – Mars)

Dao Vallis

They walked along the bench a bit, looking for an easy way down. Eventually, they were able to scramble down to the bottom of the channel. The surface was looser here, and composed of various sized rocks. They walked along, each kicking at rocks and stopping occasionally to pick up one that looked interesting, as humans have since they first walked the Earth. Aedan felt completely happy in a way that only happens once in a while. The novelty of walking outside with his youngest daughter had still not worn off, and he loved it.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two
Coming in March
(image: upper Dao Vallis, composite from Google Earth Pro – Mars)

In it

“Well,” said Nyla, “now we’re in it, huh?”

Cas smiled. “Yep,” she said. She looked around. They were alone on the surface with no shelter other than their suits and the tent strapped to the SD Rover. Cas’s smile grew broader. “This is cool,” she said.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two
 
Coming in March
 
#mars #scifi #childrensbooks #middlegradebooks #kidlit #camping
 
(image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS, Perseverance, mission sol 136)

Parting ways

Everyone stood looking at each other. Cas realized that parting on the surface like this was different than parting when they went to school and their parents went to work. They were already separate, each in their own little world maintained by their suit. They couldn’t kiss each other goodbye. Even hugging was difficult with the helmets. But they hugged nonetheless.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two

Coming in March (available for pre-order now: https://www.amazon.com/Shelter-Generation-Mars-Book-Two/dp/1733731040)

(image: Luis Peres)

Offroad challenge

“Well, this looks terrifying,” said their mother, looking out the front window of the LD at the slope their father intended to descend.

“The nearest alternative adds over 120 kilometers to our route,” said Aedan, also staring at the slope. It was steep. It was uneven. It was rocky. He smiled. “It looks like fun,” he said. Nyla gave him a look but said nothing.

“Yeah!” said Cas from behind. “Do it, Dad! It’ll be epic!”

Ori joined in: “EPIC!” she hollered.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two

Coming in March

(image: Luis Peres)