Carnival of Space #201

Wel­come to the 201st gath­er­ing of best space news on the web; some­thing we call the Car­ni­val of Space. If you’re new, please take a look at past Car­ni­vals. If you like what you see and want to par­tic­i­pate by con­tribut­ing or host­ing, let us know.

Par­tial Lunar eclipse as seen from Ade­laide at 21:30 pm, 26 June 2010. 4″ New­ton­ian Reflec­tor, 20 mm Plossl eye­piece and Canon IXUS 100 IS (400 ASA, 1/15 exposure)

June has been a spec­tac­u­lar month for astron­omy and space. Most of the world, except for North Amer­ica, will wit­ness the best total lunar eclipse since 2007. Vega 0.0 guides begin­ners (in Span­ish) in view­ing this astro­nom­i­cal event on the 15th. Unless you’re in Aus­tralia, in which case the eclipse occurs on the 16th. Astroblog­ger Ian Mus­grave also gives tim­ings and observ­ing tips. While Urban Astronomer is gaz­ing at the Moon this month, he may be using lunar occul­ta­tion to turn the Moon into a tele­scope. You can too. Astroswanny live blogs a tran­sit on KOI 256b. Did you know there were as many as 8 of the Kepler objects of inter­est tran­sit­ing every hour!!!

I can­not think of a bet­ter time to observe a new super­nova that exploded in the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51. This oppor­tu­nity is not lost on Astroblog­ger. This is not only a great oppor­tu­nity for astroimag­ing, but also a good oppor­tu­nity to use crowd­sourc­ing to study the evo­lu­tion of the supernova.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Check out our active Sun. On June 6, a pow­er­ful solar explo­sion kicked up a sur­pris­ing amount of mate­r­ial, cre­at­ing a huge veil of dark plasma that spec­tac­u­larly rained back down on the solar surface.

It’s been a busy wild­fire sea­son already and this is even evi­dent from space. The­S­pacewriter muses about the vast num­ber of fires burn­ing on Earth’s surface.

Pri­vate sec­tor space travel has been heat­ing up this year. Cheap Astron­omy reviews some cur­rent devel­op­ments in pri­vate sec­tor space travel. In NextBig­Fu­ture, Brian Wang explains that by 2016 Bigelow expects to have a fully func­tion­ing sta­tion in orbit and to begin charg­ing rent for it. Prices start at $28,750,000 per astro­naut for a 30-day tour. That’s a lot of money, he admits, but says economies of scale will drive the price down quickly. He also points out it’s still less than the esti­mated $35 mil­lion Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lal­ib­erté paid in 2009 for 12 days aboard the Inter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. Arti­cle 16 of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 allows any sig­na­tory to with­draw with 12 months notice. If coun­tries like India or China were to with­draw in the 2020s when Bigelow spec­u­lates about a lunar land rush.

Brian also presents a dis­cus­sion of recent and planned exper­i­ments of Mach Effect propul­sion.

Credit: NASA

It seems strange that more than 30 years since the first shut­tle launch, we didn’t have a pic­ture of a space shut­tle docked at the Inter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. We do now. Newly released and unique pic­tures from astro­naut Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 are spec­tac­u­lar; even more so when you zoom into this slideshow of the ISS and Endeav­our from Star­ryCrit­ters.

Cen­tauri Dreams won­ders if an orga­ni­za­tion can be cre­ated with the longevity to design a vehi­cle when the time­frames involved might be a cen­tury or more. Marc Mil­lis offers a response to the Request for Infor­ma­tion from DARPA/Ames’ 100 Year Star­ship study.

Weird­Warp explores five new projects announced by the NASA astro­bi­ol­ogy sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy for explor­ing plan­ets pro­gram (ASTEP). ASTEP pro­motes the search for life on other plan­ets and sup­ports research and explo­ration of the Earths most remote places.

Vin­tage Space takes a look at the Rogallo wing’s life after the Gem­ini pro­gram — its pro­posed inclu­sion into Apollo and the US Air Force’s planned use of the paraglider to land its Manned Orbit­ing Laboratory.

“That’s one small step for– what the heck is THAT?” (Image credit: scene from Trans­form­ers 3)

Unlike pre­vi­ous voy­ages of explo­ration, human­i­tys first steps on the Moon did not inspire great works of art and lit­er­a­ture. In fact Project Apollo has rarely even intruded in to pop­u­lar cul­ture. How­ever in the past forty years there has been a smat­ter­ing of movies and TV shows fea­tur­ing Project Apollo. Armagh Plan­e­tar­ium takes a look at some of the most inter­est­ing.

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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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