Carnival of Space #171

Wel­come to the 171st install­ment of spacey enjoy­ment; some­thing we like to call the Car­ni­val of Space. Pull back the tent flap and come on in. Theres more good­ness on the inside.

Oileán Ruaidh – most beautiful Barsoomian meteorite yet

Oileán Ruaidh

You know its always hard to know where to start when there is so much inter­est­ing news. Theres been a lot of talk about mete­orites on Earth and near-Earth objects this week. But you may not have heard of Oileán Ruaidh. The Road to Endeav­our calls it the most beau­ti­ful Bar­soo­mian mete­orite ever.

Mov­ing sun­ward, explore Venus through the trav­el­ogue of the Urban Astronomer. Emily Lak­dawalla, of the Plan­e­tary Soci­ety blog, reminds us that Venus is not as neat and tidy as we thought. Swing­ing yet closer to the Sun, Astroblog­ger Ian Mus­grave makes a con­tri­bu­tion to astro­nom­i­cal research by bring­ing to our atten­tion Mer­curys comet-like tail. Not bad for an amateur.

Tips, Tricks and Loony­ness
Not only did the equinox and full Moon cor­re­spond last week, but also our car­ni­val saw its share of Moon news. Pradeep Mohan­das dis­cusses results from the CHACE instru­ment aboard the Moon impact probe from the Chandrayaan-1 space­craft. Ken­tucky Space shares with us their col­lab­o­ra­tion efforts with Lunar Recon­nais­sance Orbiter engi­neers. StarStry­der pro­vides a brain dump, to avoid loony­ness, of new lunar results from the LRO mission.

Closer to home
Here on Earth, Nextbig­fu­ture has an inter­view with John Hunter of Quick­launch (along with pic­tures and videos). Quick­launch is hop­ing to cre­ate a method for launch­ing unmanned pay­loads into orbit for $500 per pound. The Quick­launch approach shoots pay­loads into orbit using a large hydro­gen pow­ered cannon.

Photo credit: collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

Just in time for my visit to KSC later this month, the Rocket Gar­den is sport­ing a new, more his­tor­i­cally accu­rate, addi­tion. A “new” old rocket, the sec­ond stage of a restored USAF Titan II mis­sile tipped with a mockup of a Gem­ini space­craft, has sprouted in the garden.

Weird­Warp shares with us a study from the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Physics that reveals solar power poten­tially could be col­lected using cheap, selenium-based solar cells.

21st Cen­tury Waves reminds us of China’s increas­ing role in space explo­ration in the com­ing years

Nextbig­fu­ture also reports that Reac­tion Engines’ Sky­lon space­plane project is reach­ing its final stages.

To infin­ity and…
Is astro­bi­ol­ogy too spe­cial­ized of a field to war­rant a Master’s of Sci­ence? If you’re inter­ested you should check out this post from Alun Salt.

The idea of aliens vis­it­ing Earth must be weigh­ing on the mind of the pos­si­ble UN ambas­sador of extrater­res­trial con­tact. But maybe this is all unnec­es­sary you say, Weird­Sciences helps us with the impli­ca­tions of alien civ­i­liza­tions and the pos­si­ble fate of our civ­i­liza­tion. Weird­Sciences also pon­ders the lack of time trav­el­ers. Where are they?

One way we can travel back in time is to study sto­ries from the past. Lis­ten to this 365 Days of Astron­omy pod­cast where Steve Ner­lich, of CheapAstro.com, dis­cusses an indige­nous Aus­tralian account of Eta Carina’s 1840 out­burst with Duane Hamacher.

Credit: ESO/P. Grosbøl

The Edge of Infin­ity
The Euro­pean South­ern Obser­va­tory may arguably be one of the most pro­lific obser­va­to­ries on the planet. Before you leave, spend a few min­utes at Star­ryCrit­ters explor­ing the per­fect barred-spiral form of NGC 1365, a new image from ESO’s Paranal Obser­va­tory in Chile.

Comments

J. Major 29-09-2010, 10:36

Wow. What a beau­ti­ful barred spi­ral image! And great job on this Car­ni­val of Space! Lots of great arti­cles here.

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The ancient peo­ples saw pic­tures in the sky. From those pat­terns in the heav­ens, ancient sto­ry­tellers cre­ated leg­ends about heroes, maid­ens, drag­ons, bears, cen­taurs, dogs and myth­i­cal crea­tures…
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