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A* Episode 31 
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
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Discussion thread for A* episode 31!


Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:58 pm
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New episode starts! Wooo~~~


Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:51 pm
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Was 49 is a binary galaxy, in which a larger galaxy is merging with a smaller one. This type of interaction doesn't appear to be unusual in our local universe, but something else about the pair is: using data from NASA's NuSTAR X-ray space telescope, scientists have found that the smaller galaxy has a significantly more massive central supermassive black hole than expected, and it is active--far more active than the supermassive black hole at the center of the larger galaxy that encircles it. NASA's article on this says that normally in a galactic merger, the "gravitational interactions create a torque that funnels gas into the larger galaxy's central black hole"--but that doesn't appear to be happening in this case; in Was 49, the smaller galaxy is eating the larger one! The scientists are now trying to find an explanation for the unusually high mass of the smaller galaxy's supermassive black hole.


Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:22 pm
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Gee whiz I'm still not leaving myself enough time to get one of these big ol' ink pieces scanned and written up for a real Wednesday A* art archive sale. Mmmaybe tomorrow might work. Blah! Still working on this whole daily comic schedule thing. : P


Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:26 pm
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Okay I got this week's special auction of A* original art from the archives posted! It's the 11" x 17" illustration I made for an online poster contest back in 2012--so, a good deal bigger than my daily 6.75" x 16" A* pages, and all done in ink. The auction for it runs for a week and it is right here on eBay.

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Thumb not included. : o You can see the final poster design I made from it in the 2012 blog entry.

Thanks for checking it out! : D


Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:51 pm
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Readers are helping me keep bringing you new A* episodes with as little as $1 per month through my Patreon campaign! It's a huge help! Here's a sketch I sent to a reader for their support:

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Thank you very much! : D


Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:37 pm
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Space news mini round-up! BBC News had a trio of mildly interesting space articles late last week:

(auto-playing video) Lost in space: 'Peggy, I don't have a shield' - When you see people working with things on space walks and everything is tethered or tied down, it's because if something gets loose, even for a moment, then something like this--which just occurred during a long space walk repair at the International Space Station--can happen. : o

Success for SpaceX 're-usable rocket' - SpaceX successfully re-launched and re-landed a rocket booster they'd launched and flown before; being able to re-use rocket boosters routinely would help quite a bit in bringing the cost of spaceflight down (the Space Shuttle did this with the casings of its white solid fuel boosters).

Most of Mars' air was 'lost to space' - An analysis of the ratio of argon isotopes on Mars suggests that Mars once had an atmospheric pressure comparable to Earth's; 80-90% of it was subsequently lost to space: stripped away by the solar wind, which was able to get to it due to Mars' lack of a strong magnetic field. That atmospheric pressure it may have used to have would have enabled liquid water to exist on the Martian surface.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:13 pm
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As a full-time webcomic creator, Patreon is my steadiest source of income--thanks to all the readers supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign. : D Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for their support there:

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Thank you very much~~!!


Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:23 pm
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It's Wednesday original A* art archive auction time! First I should mention that since I got last week's special sale original art auction started a day late, you still have a day to catch it! It's an 11" x 17" ink illustration of Selenis that I made for a poster contest in 2012, and the auction is right here.

Okay on to this week's special! It's another of the oh five or so remaining large 11" x 17" ink pieces I have left to sell; this one, inspired by a silly Twitter conversation with reader @elephande way back in 2011, features Selenis in a goofy "space pirate" outfit, complete with eyepatch, buckled-on sword, boots, and skull to pose with : o. I don't know if I've done an illustration quite this silly with her since then! So if you like space pirates and/or Selenis being silly, well check out the piece at auction (for one week!) right here.

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It's on a lighter, 70 lb paper (Bienfang Raritan) I was experimenting with back then, which accounts for the little rumples along the side where the ink wash caused it to shrink a bit. Ah, fun times! 8 o


Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:38 pm
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It actually went up over the weekend, but maybe it isn't quite too late to let you know that the episode 30 e-book is now available on the episodes & e-books page. If you happen to support my Patreon campaign at the e-book reward levels, check your inbox from the weekend, your download link for the new e-book should be in there. : )

And as always the "Super Express Pack" of all completed episodes' e-books has been updated with the latest, yet still remains $20--not bad for 2,979 pages, maybe? : )


Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:39 pm
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