Valhalla

NASA Photo

“This place kinda grows on you, doesn’t it, Augie?”

“I have to say, the view from here is pretty spectacular. When the lights are out, this greenhouse is a window on the whole Jovian System, the whole universe for that matter. Nothing ever repeats itself. I used to think that Mars was tops when it came to scenery, but Callisto might have it beat, at least as far as the sky goes.”

“For me, it kind of reminds me of home, Luna that is. The orbital period is shorter, but not so much so that it feels strange, and Jupiter hanging up there spinning like a top is really a sight. It is a little like what Earth looked like from Clavius, only a lot bigger. What are also different are the other moons. It’s like being inside a perpetual motion machine, watching them move around. Pool’s not bad either.”

“The sunsets get me,” I answered. “They are slow, that is it takes a long time for the sun to go down, but it gets dark right away: there is no twilight. On Mars it stays light for about an hour and a half, even at the equator. Near the poles in the summer, it never sets.”

“The sunsets are almost the same here as they are at Clavius. Takes a while for the sun to make it down, but once it is, it is dark. And it gets cold in a hurry.”

“That’s different here, too. The sun just doesn’t have much heat in it. Really, your suit has to retain almost as much heat in daylight as at night. On Mars, night and day are pretty different.”

“On the moon, too: your suit will go from cooling to heating in the time it takes to step into a shadow.”

Excerpt Chapter V: Window on the Universe

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