Carnival of Space #131

Wel­come to the Car­ni­val of Space #131; the great­est weekly col­lec­tion of space-related blogs here on Earth and beyond! I’ll be your ring­mas­ter for the week.

Last week was Thanks­giv­ing here in the United States. With all the fes­tiv­i­ties, fam­ily time, trips to the sci­ence museum and indulging in the sweet stuff, I fell behind in keep­ing up with all the cool astron­omy going on. So I’m thank­ful I have this trav­el­ing car­ni­val to help me catch up and for the cheat sheet for chat­ting up astron­omy over the din­ner table pro­vided by AliceAs­tro at AstroInfo. Had I done much social­iz­ing, I’m sure this primer would have come in handy.

If you’re vis­it­ing Star­ryCrit­ters for the first time; Wel­come! I am a sci­ence writer, web designer/developer and a JPL Solar Sys­tem Ambas­sador. Star­ryCrit­ters, a NASA Top Star win­ner, was cre­ated mainly to help chil­dren use their imag­i­na­tions by cre­at­ing sto­ries from what they see in images taken by NASA’s Great Obser­va­to­ries, par­tic­u­larly Hub­ble Space Tele­scope. So explore the site and the uni­verse through the amaz­ing images. Use the tool to pan and zoom around the images. A but­ton on the far right of the tool­bar will cause the image to fill your screen with starry won­der. Feel free to play.

I’m look­ing at the cal­en­dar lament­ing the fact that IYA 2009 has nearly run its course. Only 32 more days left to get in all that cool astron­omy stuff. Astron­omy never ends. What’s in store for IYA 2010? Five more shut­tle flights, more auro­ras at Sat­urn, con­tin­ued geyser watch­ing on Ence­ladus, root­ing for Spirit escap­ing the Mar­t­ian sand trap, mar­veling over videos of fire­balls, and more great dis­cov­er­ies by Spitzer and other great observatories.

At Bad Astron­omy, Phil, dives deep, with allit­er­a­tion, into the ori­gin of bulgy galac­tic mid­dles. You have to embiggenate the stun­ning images of Terzan5 from the Euro­pean South­ern Obser­va­tory. Or just zoom into one here.

Terzan5. Credit: ESO

Hand­ing out the afore­men­tioned help­ful hol­i­day chat tips is AstroInfo.

Won­der what Atlantis astro­nauts had for their turkey day meal in orbit? Maybe they bandied Alice’s tips about. Find out at Col­lect­Space.

Cheap Astron­omy deliv­ers a pod­cast about how the remain­ing space shut­tle mis­sions will fin­ish build­ing the ISS.

Cum­bri­an­Sky shares the tale of a suc­cess­ful pub­lic star party. We should all have a few of these.

Fel­low Jay­hawk, AngryAs­tronomer, sets his eyes on tear­ing down Cre­ation­ist goal­posts with a dis­cus­sion about a new paper on increas­ing “metal­lic­ity” in an aging universe.

Spec­u­la­tion on top of spec­u­la­tion at NextBig­Fu­ture. Dark Mat­ter rock­ets and is the uni­verse made to be opti­mized for black hole pow­ered space travel?

If you’ve had your fill of Black Fri­day, Cyber Mon­day (who comes up with these names?) and col­lege foot­ball, Music of the Spheres found some inter­est­ing online resources related to the final Hub­ble ser­vice mis­sion that took place in May 2009.

“Cli­mate­gate” is all over the news but you’ll want to read Ian O’Neill’s take Dis­cov­eryNews.

Simostron­omy catches up with leg­endary vari­able star observer Albert Jones in this in-depth “inter­biew”. Jones is a pow­er­house with more than 500,000 vari­able star mea­sure­ments to his credit.

Want to make a run at that num­ber in 2010? Algol Blinks guides first-time observers of vari­able stars.

Debunk­ing 2012 mad­ness this week falls to Steve’s Astro Cor­ner. I’ll def­i­nitely be tak­ing away the credit card of my teen if she falls for the 2012 hype. Right! She doesn’t get a credit card.

But hold on, we can move the Earth. Weird­Warp has the details.

Pre­heat at 90 for 15 min­utes. Puz­zled? Head over to Chan­draBlog. Hint: it has noth­ing to do with cli­mate change, col­li­sions at the Large Hadron Col­lider, explod­ing suns or hurtling planets.

Ein­stein said God doesn’t play dice with the uni­verse but Uni­ver­se­To­day tells how to play Galaxy Zoo’s lat­est game, Cos­mic Mergers.

One of the possible micro-fossils as origianlly photographed.  © NASA

One of the pos­si­ble micro-fossils as ori­gian­lly pho­tographed. © NASA

And we’ll leave you pon­der­ing the renewed debate over the Allen Hills Mete­orite (you know the one sup­pos­edly con­tain­ing a fos­silized Mar­t­ian bacteria-like organ­ism?) high­lighted by Plan­e­taria.

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uberVU - social comments 30-11-2009, 21:50

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This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Karla Segura Ch.: The Car­ni­val of Space #131 is LIVE on Starry Crit­ters: http://bit.ly/5pFVaI

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