Carnival of Space #141

Wel­come to the 141st edi­tion of Car­ni­val of Space. Hub­ble Top Star award-winner, Star­ryCrit­ters is host this week to the blogosphere’s most inter­est­ing astron­omy posts of the week. With Mardi Gras begin­ning Feb­ru­ary 16th, Galileo’s 446th birth­day on Feb­ru­ary 15th, and the 20th anniver­sary of Voyager’s Fam­ily Por­trait on the 13th, this is a great week to visit the Car­ni­val. Strap your­selves in, we’re going for a ride.

The (maybe not) last night launch of Space Shut­tle Endeavor seemed to cap­ture the com­bined enthu­si­asm of the world includ­ing Robert Pearl­man at Col­lect­SPACE. As I was fol­low­ing Nancy Atkinson’s tweets, I could tell the event left her speech­less. After col­lect­ing her thoughts, she had time to fill us in on her expe­ri­ence on her per­sonal blog. And since we have more than 140 words, here it is included for free.

The night launch of a space shut­tle is a won­der­ful sight, says Alan Boyle of Cos­mi­cLog. Sadly, it’s a sight we may never see again. The views gets even bet­ter when you’re in space. Tour space inside and out.

On the heels of Endeavor’s meetup to deliver Tran­quil­ity Node 3 to the ISS, Solar Dynamic Obser­va­tory soared into orbit to study the Sun. Nancy Atkin­son, from our host Uni­ver­se­To­day, cov­ered the SDO launch for us. Two launches are bet­ter than one. Noisy Astronomer, Nicole Gugli­ucci con­tin­ues our cov­er­age of SDO with more insight into the sci­ence goals. Thanks for keep­ing us up-to-date at the SDOisGO Tweetup, Nicole.

Also get­ting ready for launch at the Kennedy Space Cen­ter is SpaceX’s Fal­con 9 rocket. Brian Wang at the Next Big Future tells us the pri­vate launch firm is tar­get­ing a March 8, 2010 launch date.

Next Big Future also reports on MIT work to power and move Rubik’s Cube-sized satel­lites, known as Cube­Sats. This new elec­tric propul­sion tech­nol­ogy aims to give the tiny, ver­sa­tile sats more mobil­ity; maybe even to deep space.

Wayne Hall at Ken­tucky Space pro­vides this video update from Jef­frey Man­ber on the work to make afford­able, repeat­able micro-gravity research avail­able on the Inter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. Not to be con­fused with Cube­Sats, the first of three planned NanoRacks, along with the first two “Cube­labs,” will fly on Shut­tle STS-131 in March to the station.

Eva-Jane Lark of Out of the Cra­dle inter­viewed Hoyt David­son of Near Earth LLC for this install­ment of “EVA Interviews.”

Much dis­cus­sion con­tin­ues about the redi­rec­tion NASA announced ear­lier in Feb­ru­ary. Dr. Bruce Cordell, of 21stCenturyWaves explains that NASAs “New Par­a­digm” sup­ports “Maslow Win­dow Fore­casts”. Aron Sora of Habi­ta­tion Inten­tion presents a counter-argument to his posi­tion in sup­port of a lunar base.

If you weren’t wowed by the night-time launch of the shut­tle, per­haps you’ll enjoy a one-of-a-kind twin auro­ral light show spot­ted on Sat­urn by the Hub­ble Space Tele­scope. Sci­en­tists used the less well-known ultra­vi­o­let capa­bil­i­ties of Hub­ble to give us this shot. Both Emily Lak­dawalla, of the Plan­e­tary Soci­ety blog and Alan Boyle, writ­ing in Cos­mi­cLog mar­vel the rare dou­ble aurora.

At the other end of the elec­tro­mag­netic spec­trum and from the earth­bound ESO VISTA sur­vey tele­scope, explore the new, near-infrared image of the Orion Neb­ula at Star­ryCrit­ters and Bente Lilja Bye’s Plan­et­bye blog. There is a fea­ture at Star­ryCrit­ters that allows you to view the image full-screen. Click the far-right but­ton on the tool­bar to enter.

Were All In The Gut­ter blog, presents us with astro­nom­i­cal Valen­tines by point­ing us to this video from the folks at the Sixty Sym­bols project. This project is a trea­sure trove of infor­ma­tion. Enjoy the show.

Weird Warp takes us on a whirl­wind, 10-minute ride through solar sys­tem cre­ation. Faster if you’re a speed reader.

Con­tin­u­ing the sight­see­ing por­tion of this ride, tour guide Jason Perry of the Gish Bar Times, points out sev­eral fea­tures on Jupiter’s moon Io named after peo­ple in places from Dante’s “Inferno.”

While Astroblog­ger offers hints and tips for observ­ing the oppo­si­tion of Vesta.

Mike Simon­sen at Simostron­omy reminds us not to get too com­fort­able with what we thought we knew about galax­ies. Things are chang­ing with the Hub­ble Sequence as astronomers peer fur­ther back in time to see younger galaxies.

Just by chang­ing the way we look at things allows us to see more than before. Isn’t sci­ence cool?

Ryan Ander­son at Mar­t­ian Chron­i­cles explains how lasers work and talks about some com­mon mis­con­cep­tions. I still want sound effects with my laser. Pew, pew.

Steve Ner­lich shares wig­gly, wob­bly, spacey-timey stuff at Cheap Astron­omy in this final install­ment of his series of pod­casts on light.

Speak­ing of spacey-timiness, StarStry­der, Pamela Gay talks of annoy­ance and accep­tance of gravity.

Adam Crowl at Crowl­space pon­ders a deep future view of warm­ing white dwarfs with dark mat­ter and the pos­si­ble SETI implications.

In the strange, sci­ence fic­tion tie-in cat­e­gory of the week, Ian O’Neill, of Dis­cov­ery News and Paul A. Gilster, of Cen­tauri Dreams, explore the recent paper that calls for human­ity to seed the galaxy with microor­gan­isms ensur­ing life will sur­vive even the death of our Sun. Maybe the paper’s author was inspired by “The Mind’s Eye.”

Lastly, Stu­art at Cum­brian Sky writes an impas­sioned trib­ute to the Mars rover, Spirit. If only we could all click our fin­gers or fall asleep and find our­selves on the Bar­soo­mian sur­face to help dig Spirit out. After read­ing this, I can’t help won­der­ing what will hap­pen if we don’t set­tle Mars one day or do a bet­ter job of doc­u­ment­ing our space explo­ration. Will some future explorer stum­ble upon the cold rover and won­der at our intentions?

Thanks for vis­it­ing the Car­ni­val this week. Many thanks to Fraser Cain at Uni­verse Today and the many blog­gers who make read­ing and host­ing the Car­ni­val such a blast. Not ready to head out yet? Stick around and con­tinue your sight­see­ing at Star­ryCrit­ters.


J. Major 16-02-2010, 13:06

Great car­ni­val John! Sci­ence IS cool, thanks for the ride!

Adam 17-02-2010, 04:23

Hi John

Nice work! One cor­rec­tion is needed tho. My blog title is “Crowl­space” not “Deep Future”… though you’re giv­ing me ideas about a title change. Hmmm.

Adam Crowl

Ian Musgrave 17-02-2010, 04:34

Great Car­ni­val, sadly, my post on the oppo­si­tion of Vesta did not get in.

CritterKeeper 17-02-2010, 07:27

Thanks Ian, it was there but in the para­graph about Io. It was a gen­eral sight­see­ing around the solar sys­tem idea. But I moved Vesta into it’s own paragraph.

CritterKeeper 17-02-2010, 07:29

Thanks. I cor­rected that error. That’s a great title and great post. It was giv­ing me such a vision while com­pil­ing the Car­ni­val espe­cially with the sub­ject mat­ter. I did some check­ing and some­one already has had the domain reg­is­tered for a long time, although no web­site comes up. That’s a shame.

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