"In layman's terms, we're going to shoot some missiles into space and knock it off course."
I was standing under a massive jet-black dome at the University of Vienna. From the outside, you could easily think the building was another ornate monument left over from the Austro-Hungarian empire.
But it wasn't. This was an observatory, and I was staring at a gigantic telescope.
When it was inaugurated in 1883, it was the largest refracting telescope in the world. One of my contacts in Vienna is a post-doctoral PhD student in the university's astrophysics department. After we toured the observatory, she invited me to a special lecture.
I've been a fan of science fiction novels since I was a kid and couldn't pass up the chance to geek-out on outer space. The presentation was about a...