Posts Tagged ‘Carnival of Space’

Carnival of Space #280

The Internets were abuzz last week with all sorts of spacey news. Let’s dive right in for the 280th edition of Carnival of Space!

Last week marked the 40th anniversary of Apollo 17 leaving the Moon. Amy Shira Teitel with Vintage Space offers a look back at the last words they spoke while still on its surface.

The Air & Space blog brings us “Dr Paul Spudis’s The Lunar Surface – What Lies Beneath, what the The NASA mission GRAIL (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) shows us.The Meridian Journal also reports on the odd ‘bubble rings.’

The Lunar and Planetary Institute highlights odd ‘bubble rings’ from Curiosity, and NASA press release images for November. Mars, Moon, Mercury, Titan and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Cheap Astronomy indulges in a little speculation on the future of humanity (podcast).

EverydaySpacer offers up “#108 See Emily’s Snapshots. From explaining the seasons on Mars to sorting out Saturn’s rings, it seems there is already plenty of variety in the six videos on the Snapshots from Space page of The Planetary Society website as of this publication.

Cosmoquest reminds us that Citizen science projects abound, whether you want to study the weather, nature’s critters, or the night sky. Get out more and do some science.

The Chandra blog helps us understand ‘What’s Out There By Looking Down Here as well as Revealing Hidden Black Holes”.

There’s an abundance of news at NextBigFuture. The president of SpaceX said the U.S. domestic space launch market has “changed dramatically” in the last two weeks as a result of an Air Force decision to award the upstart company its first military contracts. Gwynn Shotwell also said SpaceX plans to grow its nascent military launch business. After calling the market for commercial space launches “incredibly stable, if not growing,” Shotwell said her company was not worried about how sequestration could impact the industry. Shotwell warned that the U.S. runs the risk of falling behind international competitors. “The U.S. has definitely been complacent, I think, on launch,” Shotwell said, specifically mentioning that China is investing heavily in space technology. “I think it’s critically important not to write the Chinese off. I think they will be the fiercest competitor here in the next five to 10 years.”

Astroblogger brings us spectacular images of the asteroid Toutais flyby. Universe Today also brings us NASA’s radar images from Toutais’ tumbling pass as well as images of the incredible sky show put on by the Geminid meteor shower. Also check out the great video of GRAIL capturing LRO as it flew by, a Nile-like delta on Titan. And lastly, Hubble census unveils galaxies near the cosmic dawn, at a record-setting red shift of 12.

Tranquility Base writes about teachers in space: pioneer Christa McAuliffe and the teachers that followed her.

The folks with the NASA/ESA Hubble regularly release spectacular images from the orbiting telescope. StarryCritters, this website, lets you lose yourself zooming into an image of ESO 318-13 full of glittering stars and far-away galaxies. StarryCritters also promotes Hubble Star Cards; a game that lets you hold the universe in your hands.

Want to catch up or read back posts on COS? Uni­ver­se­To­day has the entire archive. If you have a space-related blog and you want a lit­tle expo­sure con­sider con­tribut­ing to the Car­ni­val of Space. Just email your post to and the cur­rent week’s host will add a link. If you feel really ambi­tious and want to help send an email to the above email and sign up as a host. We’d love to have you either way.

Carnival of Space #272

It’s time for another roundup of the latest space news from various blogs around cyberspace; something we call Carnival of Space. Watch your step and look up as you board the latest ride through the carnival.

Perhaps the biggest, certainly the most exciting, news last week was the announcement from the European Southern Observatory of a scorching world orbiting uber-close to Alpha Centauri B. It’s also the lightest exoplanet discovered around a Sun-like star, reports Next Big Future.  Nancy Atkinson at our host Universe Today detailed the new finding. Astroblogger offers reflections (and a celestia file) on the recent Earth-sized red-hot planet.

Artist's impression of the planet around Alpha Centauri B.

This artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth. Alpha Centauri B is the most brilliant object in the sky and the other dazzling object is Alpha Centauri A. Our own Sun is visible to the upper right. Credit: ESO

The Carnival is full of more information on this nearby world from The Meridian Journal and Aartscope

The official countdown toward the end of the world has begun (if you believe in that sort of thing). Nancy Atkinson of Universe Today explores the 2012 craziness and why people are so willing to get sucked into the hype.

CosmoQuest hits one million total craters between the Moon and asteroid Vesta. What are the fruits of this citizen science labor of love?

Next Big Future writes that Keck observations reveal the more details of Uranus than even the Voyager flyby in 1986.

Researchers presented infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry analyses of Apollo samples that reveal the presence of significant amounts of hydroxyl inside glasses formed in the lunar regolith by micrometeorite impacts.Lunar regolith is everywhere on the lunar surface, and glasses make up about half of lunar regolith. Finding hydroxl in the glass means that a huge amount of material that could be turned into water on the moon.

Spacex is developing a new more powerful engine that will enable a rocket to take 200 tons of payload to low earth orbit. Musk said the new rocket, which he calls MCT, will be “several times” as powerful as the 1 Merlin series, and won’t use Merlin’s RP-1 fuel. Beyond adding that it will have “a very big core size”, he declined to elaborate, promising more details in “between one and three years”.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partner Blue Origin has successfully fired the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine. As part of Blue’s Reusable Booster System (RBS), the engines are designed eventually to launch the biconic-shaped Space Vehicle the company is developing. Blue Origin is a reusable rocket being developed by Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon.

The NH National Guard Child and Youth Program and NHNG Military Education Outreach Committee were proud to present a pilot science event with the Chandra Education & Outreach Group on October 14, 2012 in Concord, New Hampshire.

Cheap Astronomy presents a podcast on the Hubble Servicing Missions and the expected future for the telescope.

While Any Shira Teitel of Vintage Space readily admits Felix Baumgartner’s high altitude sky dive was awesome to watch, we may have missed an opportunity to teach a huge audience a thing or two about science.
Tranquility Base asks during the Cold War, did the U.S. or the Soviet Union ever launch an armed spacecraft? And, have there been any weapons in space since the cold war ended?
Encounter with Unidentified Flying Object in Southern Finland. The bright light and the irregular pace of the craft caught my attention. Read more on Links Through Space.

Eruptions on Io from Earth

Observations of several bright & young eruptions detected at short wavelengths (~2.1 microns) on the top and longer wavelengths (~3.2 microns) on the bottom since 2004 using the W. M. Keck 10-meter telescope (May 2004, Aug 2007, Sep 2007, July 2009), the Gemini North 8-meter telescope (Aug 2007), and the ESO VLT-Yepun 8-meter telescope (Feb 2007), all with their adaptive optics systems. The thermal signature of the Tvashtar outburst can be seen near the north pole on images collected in 2007. A new eruption on Pillan Patera was seen in Aug 2007. A young and bright eruption was detected on Loki Patera in July 2009. This is the last bright eruption that was detected in our survey; since then, Io’s volcanic activity has been quiescent. Credit: F. Marchis

You fancy yourself an armchair astronomer? John Williams writes at Universe Today about a group of California researchers who have stepped it up a notch by monitoring the intense volcanic eruptions on Jupiter’s strangest moon Io from the comfort of their home.

Lastly, peer into a tightly spun rainbow. Explore the arching tails of the Pinwheel Galaxy in this composite image featuring imagery from NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra and GALEX telescopes.

Carnival of Space #241

Welcome back to episode #241 of the Carnival of Space; the source for the latest space news from various blogs from the past week. Step right up for the latest ride around the carnival.

Asteroids: they’re big, scary and can kill millions. Nuclear weapons: they’re big, scary and can kill millions. Ian O’Neill of Discovery News asks wouldn’t it make sense to unite the two?

Chandra Blog’s guest blogger Uroš Kostić explores theoretical work on the destruction of asteroids by supermassive black holes.

Blogger Ray Sanders has a “Guest Post” at the Planetary Society Blog. The guest posts provides information on how space enthusiasts can “Make an Impact” with Yuri’s Night 2012.

Paul Gilster takes a look at the latest Kepler results in light of what may be a discouraging trend for those hoping for abundant terrestrial planets.

AstroWow asks how rainbows reveal the chemical makeup of the Universe?  The Astronomy Word of the Week is “Fraunhofer”!

Sarah Scoles at Smaller Questions asks: “Where do the Martians get their water?

At Astroblogger, the topics of the week are earthquakes, astronomical alignments and 2012 DR30 (alignments still don’t cause earthquakes) and the death dive of the first Kreutz comet found by the SWAN instrument.

The spring equinox is this week, however the lengths of the day and night are not equal on the equinox. Find out why in the Venus

If string theory is true and universal inflation is true then traversable wormholes are possible without exotic matter or negative energy. Nextbigfuture takes a look at this subject as well as a plan DARPA is developing for on-demand satellite imaging for soldiers and a summary of older NASA papers on using nuclear fusion for interstellar travel.

Is Kepler getting close to finding another Earth? The Meridian Journal probes the possibilities.

At Links Through Space follow there Astronomy Club as they travel through Spain. As we travel the south of Spain we visit beau­ti­ful sites and astro­nom­i­cal land­marks to bring you very cool astropho­tos and sto­ries about the his­tory of Span­ish Astronomy.

Vintage Space takes a look at the animals that the US shot into space before the era of Ham and Enos.

And lastly, here at StarryCritters, explore the entire infrared mosaic in this whole sky view from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, WISE. Be dazzled zooming into the intense swarm of stars of Messier 9 in this image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.


Want to catch up or read back posts on COS? UniverseToday has the entire archive. If you have a space-related blog and you want a little exposure consider contributing to the Carnival of Space. Just email your post to and the current week’s host will add a link. If you feel really ambitious and want to help send an email to the above email and sign up as a host. We’d love to have you either way.


Carnival of Space #209

Welcome to the 209th edition of Carnival of Space. Something a little different in store for you this episode. Carnival hosts are scattered across the globe spreading the space news of the week. Click on a marker and space news will appear.

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If you run a space/astronomy related blog, and would like to get more awareness, participate in the Carnival of Space. Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space. It’s a great way to get to know the community, and to help your writing reach a wider audience. If you’d like to be a host for the carnival, please send email to

If you have no idea what a blog carnival is, check this out.

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.


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.


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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