Carnival of Space 445-446

Greetings one and all to another round of the Carnival of Space. Grab a snack, a favorite beverage and proceed to read about our incredible universe!

First up is an entry from Ryan Marciniak about the techniques Astronomers use to map the heavens.

In this blog series, we will take a deeper look into the constellations that Astronomers use to map today’s night sky. We will look into the history of each of the 88 constellations and the stars and objects that form them, to discover more about our culture, and our connection with the universe. First up, Orion the hunter.

Next up The Brown Spaceman brings us a pair of articles. The first covers dark matter and what we know about it currently. The second article is a Q&A with a future astronaut.

What is dark matter and how much of our Milky Way is made up of it?

I ask 14 year old future Mars-walker Alyssa Carson some questions on her journey to becoming an astronaut.

We follow that set of articles with a look at making a Spectroscope from an iPhone.

Astroswanny has a brain explosion and tries to build a Spectroscope with an iPhone and …. hmmm finds it might actually work

Finally, we have a trio of great articles from the Chandra X-Ray blog. From new X-Ray observatories to recent discoveries there is a lot of good stuff to read.

New X-ray Observatory Comes Online

Surprise Discovery of X-ray Bright Supermassive Black Hole Jet in the Early Universe

Glow from the Big Bang Allows Discovery of Distant Black Hole Jet

That’s if for this edition of the Carnival of Space. Urban Astronomer covers the next edition. Until next time…


Carnival of Space No. 441

Greetings on and all to the latest edition of carnival of Space. This week sees a great assortment of articles covering everything from rocket, to orbital space habitats to deep space. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in for a grand time!

The Lunar and Planetary Institute has posted another 10 NASA press release images to their Flickr page. Images of Pluto, Ceres, Mars, Epimetheus, and the Moon

NASA’s Chandra Finds Supermassive Black Hole Burping Nearby

NASA’s Great Observatories Weigh Massive Young Galaxy Cluster

Dawn spacecraft begins extensive study of dwarf planet Ceres from lowest orbit

Pluto’s large nitrogen ice ‘sea’ probably formed from giant impact, scientists say


Gregory Matloff has some thoughts on the kind of space facility we can build with our current technologies. The Bigelow B330 expandable station has been proposed for quite while. The new analysis is about the exact location of a base and using two stations for spinning for simulated gravity.

We need to answer some fundamental questions regarding human life beyond the confines of our home planet. Will humans thrive under lunar or martian gravity? Can children be conceived in extraterrestrial environments? What is the safe threshold for human exposure to high-Z galactic cosmic rays (GCRs)?

To address these issues we might require a dedicated facility in Earth orbit.

SpaceX hopes to make history again on Jan. 17 by landing a Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea after launching a payload into orbit. SpaceX confirmed to NBC News that it would be making the attempt; the news was earlier reported by space journalist Charles Lurio on Twitter.


Carnival of Space No. 433

Welcome all to this edition of the Carnival of Space. here in the United States we are celebrating our Thanksgiving. This is a time of family, friends, good food and great news about space. So pull up a chair, grab a warm beverage and get an amazing start to the holiday season.

First up in this edition is Planetaria with a couple of great articles. The first covers the exoplanet discovery that could be a twin to Venus. They follow that up with an update on the Mars Curiosity rover as it prepares to study sand dunes.

GJ 1132b: nearest Earth-sized exoplanet discovered so far may be a ‘Venus twin’

NASA’s Curiosity rover approaching active Martian sand dunes after latest drilling completed

We follow that up with a look at an interesting analysis from Venus Trasnit of what the constellations looked like thousands of years ago.

Which stars Joseph saw in his famous dream? A new approach and interpretation to the biblical text

SpaceflightInsider brings an article about United Launch Alliance and their new contest for CubeSats.

ULA offers rides for university CubeSats.

And closing out this edition is a video from the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s YouTube channel.

Exploring the Birth of Rocky Planets: The InSight Mission to Mars. Planetary scientist Dr. Bruce Banerdt of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology discusses the science and engineering of the Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars.

Thanks for joining us on this week’s edition. Next week sees the Carnival hosted at Next Big Future. Until then, enjoy your week and relax this holiday.


Carnival of Space No. 429

Welcome to the Carnival of Space, Episode 429. The Carnival is your weekly dose of space related material from around the web. This week sees a series of articles from Universe Today, Chandra, The Huffington Post and more. Onward to the Carnival!

First up we have a Spanish article from Vega 0.0 discussing the differences in elemental particles.

Not all elemental particles are equal. There are two classes: fermions and bosons. The article explains the differences between them. The article is written in Spanish.

Next, Universe Today brings us a trio of great articles:

Bio-Mimicry and Space Exploration

Stunning Triple Planetary Conjunction Pictures from Around the World

Boulder Extraction and Robotic Arm Mechanisms For NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission Start Rigorous Testing at NASA Goddard

From the Huffington Post we have an article discussing aspects of light.

Light, the language for understanding our Universe

The Chandra Blog has a great write up on the strange physics happening at the edge of a black hole.

Destroyed Star Rains onto Black Hole, Winds Blow it Back

Finally we close out this week with an article at Planetaria about the Saturnian probe Cassini.

Sampling an alien ocean: Cassini prepares for deep dive through Enceladus’ geysers on Wednesday

Short, sweet, and filled with lots of valuable information on what is happening is space this week. Turn in next week for the next exciting Carnival of Space.


Carnival of Space No. 424

Welcome to the Carnival of Space, Episode 424. Each week the Carnival brings you the latest and greatest space science articles to be found on this side of a Venusian sunset. Kick back, pull up a frothy beverage of your choice and enjoy this week’s reading selections.

First up this week is an article from the Chandra X-Ray Telecope Blog about what interns working on Chandra experience.

Interning with Chandra

Coloring The Universe shares with us some insights into the creation of those amazing photo books of space goodness we just love to stare at.

Challenges and rewards of printing astronomical images

Next up, Kim Arcand & Megan Watzke take light and optics to the steps of Capitol Hill, explaining the importance of light (and sometimes the lack of it) in our lives.

Talking about the imporatnce of light, optics & photonics in DC.

Universe Today provided the Carnival with a trio of excellent news articles. From their collection comes news that the Orion capsule may slip a couple years to 2023.

First Manned Flight of NASA’s Orion Deep Space Capsule Could Slip to 2023

They also take a look at Pluto as more data comes back from the New Horizons probe. Every new bit of data gives us a better understanding of this far distant dwarf planet.

Pluto Spectacular! Glaciers, Hazes, Majestic Peaks Revealed in New Photos

UT finishes out their trio with a great article about the scale model of the solar system that has the entire planet abuzz with the awesomeness of a well executed plan.

This is a Scale Model of the Solar System Like You’ve Never Seen Before

The fine folks at Planetaria bring a couple of great articles to the show as well. First up is their take on the Pluto mission including a look at the mountains of data coming back slowly.

Here it comes! massive downlink of Pluto data starts with spectacular new images

The follow that up with a look at a moon a little closer (but not too close) to home. it seems there just might be water everywhere we look.

New evidence from Cassini indicates Saturn’s moon Enceladus has global subsurface ocean

Next Big Future brings us back down to Earth with a pair of articles on technology. First up, we have some data about DARPA wanting to push forward with robotic orbital operations.

DARPA working on orbital robotic construction, repair and refueling capability. This will mesh will with the NASA spiderfab effort.

NBF follows that up with a look at the recent delay in the next Long March rocket:

China’s Long March 6 (CZ-6) carrier rocket was set to be launched in Taiyuan, in North China’s Shanxi Province on Saturday, sending 20 small satellites into space. It appears the launch may have been postponed.

And there you have the Carnival of Space for this week. Lots of good reading, great imagery and food for thought. Join us each week as a different website hosts the Carnival. Catch the next episode over at at Universe Today. And if you missed last week’s episode, you can read it at Next Big Future.

Until next time – Dream!


Carnival of Space No 415

With all the new information streaming from New Horizons, this week’s Carnival of Space is very nearly all about Pluto. All the other Major planets have had their time in the media spotlight. Now Pluto takes center stage.

We start with Stereo Moon’s look at Pluto: On Dr. Schenk’s 3D House of Satellites: Pluto!.

And then we follow that up with an article on Pluto’s size in Universe Today: Big Discovery from NASA’s New Horizons; Pluto is Biggest Kuiper Belt Body.

Let’s take a brief break from Pluto to check on the latest updates from a couple other planets in our solar system starting with Mars. Planetaria looks at possible evidence of tectonics on Mars: Curiosity finds first evidence for possible ‘continental crust’ on Mars.

The Venus Transit reminds us about the wonders of a little probe called Cassini that is still sending back images from Saturn: With all the attention on NH and Pluto it is a great time to compile a gallery of Cassini’s best photos from the first half of 2015

We now return to the frozen edge of our planetary system with an article from Doc Madhattan about how a renowned author had an influence of finding Pluto: The story of the Pluto’s discovery and the little role played by H.P. Lovecraft

When you are working long hours waiting for a space probe, some fun is bound to creep in. CosmoQuest writes about the antics that can happen when you have a long wait for something to happen: On Juky 14, with nothing to do but wait for New Horizons to call us back and let us know it’s ok, everyone seems to have developed a case of the creative and/or a case of the sillies. Enjoy.

Coloring the Universe has a trio of articles about Pluto that are all good reads:

Why Fly to Pluto?

How Was Pluto Discovered?

We have a two part special this week on from the blog of Kim Arcand & Megan Watzke on the cool science of bending light:

Bending Light Part 1

Bending Light Part 2

And wrapping up the Carnival this week is an article from the Chandra X-Ray Telescope Blog with their take on Pluto: Chandra Looks to Pluto.

That’s it for the Carnival this week Stay tuned for more great science articles when Links Through Space hosts. Until then, keep watching for more news on Pluto.


Carnival of Space No 407

Welcome to Carnival of Space, Issue number 407. This Memorial Day edition is dedicated to everyone who served in their military, especially recognizing those who gave their lives in the defense of their nation. Our gratitude is with you all.

We start off this week’s Carnival with an article written in Spanish over at Vega 0.0. Goog Translate is a great tool for anyone who is a non-Spanish reader.

New Horizons probe is near to its target, the dwarf planet Pluto. Now, LORRI camera can detect the five known moons (Caronte, Hydra, Nix, Kerberos and Styx).

Stereo Moons continues with the Pluto theme, in English this time, discussing the upcoming encounter.

Dr Paul Schenk writes about the upcoming Pluto encounter.

The Huffington Post has an article on the #girlswithtoys sensation.

Applauding #girlswithtoys

Next up the website of the Chandra X-Ray Telescope continues the mem theme with their article on #girlswithtoys. The follow that up with a second article about astronomy in Puerto Rico.

There have been so many excellent images and messages being tied to the hashtag #girlswithtoys on Twitter over the past several days.

Light: Beyond the Bulb at Puerto Rico

The Meridian Journal also has a pair of articles this week. The first an investigation into the discovery of possible sea salt on Europa. The second looks at the Northrop Gruman developed airplane designed to fly the skies of Venus.

Dark material in fractures on Europa’s surface is sea salt, new research suggests

Flying (mostly) friendly skies: Northrop Grumman developing airplane to cruise atmosphere of Venus

Moving a bit farther out in the solar system we have a pair of articles on Mars. First up is Andrew Fraknoi: Exploring the Universe blog with a great little article on rock spires on Mars.

Andrew Fraknoi shows a new image of rock spires taken with the Opportunity Rover on Mars, which has now reached its 4000th martian day of operations.

Staying with Mars, Universe Today has an article on the cool things the Opportunity rover team is doing.

Opportunity Rover Team Honors Pioneering Lindbergh Flight at Mars Mountaintop Crater

We conclude this week’s edition of Memorial Day reading with an article on astrophotography from The Urban Astronomer.

Astrophotography has a reputation for being expensive and requiring a lot of specialized equipment. While it certainly is possible to spend a lot of money getting kitted out, we sometimes forget just how important the photographer’s skill is in producing a great shot. Urban Astronomer has documented his own progression from “”rank amateur”” to “”moderately competent”” by imaging the same object at intervals as he improves his technique, and has found that no matter how flawed his equipment might be, he STILL hasn’t reached the limits of what it can achieve.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next time for Episode 408 of the Carnival of Space


Russia is Having a Very Bad Year in Spaceflight

Russia seems to be having numerous issues with spacecraft this year. After the dual loss of the Progress M-27M mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and the loss of a Proton-M rocket carrying MexSat-1, word comes from the space station that the currently berthed Progress M-26M is acting up.

Earlier today, engineers ordered the Progress spacecraft to fire its engines to provide a much needed boost to the ISS. This is done periodically to keep the station from falling into a low orbit that could result in the station re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. When the command was given, the Progress refused to fire its engines. Controllers on the ground are currently troubleshooting the issue with hopes that a resolution may be found quickly. While the ISS is in no immediate danger, the lack of the orbital boost could become an issue.

Engineers currently suspect the main engine controller board but until they complete their analysis, the cannot be certain.

The loss of control of the Progress M-26M engines comes on the heals of some pretty challenging days. First Russia had issues with the launch of the Soyuz rocket with Progress M-27M on board. An anomaly with the third stage resulted in a mis-aligned orbit. Additionally, the Progress was left in an uncontrolled spin. The result was the total loss of the craft when it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on May 5th.

That loss forced Russia to re-evaluate the upcoming manned Soyuz flight to the ISS. That launch has been postponed from May to July of this year to give engineers time to ascertain any threat to astronaut safety.

Just this morning, Russia suffered another launch setback with the failure of the third stage on a Proton-M rocket carrying Mexico’s next generation telecommunications satellite. That spacecraft (MexSat-1) would have provided secure communications channels for the Mexican government as well as public channels for video and audio feeds. The satellite was to provide new KU and L band communications.

While setback such as these due occur in spaceflight, this latest series cripples Russia’s ability to launch just about any payloads either manned or cargo. The bulk of their fleet is currently grounded. Options for cargo runs are limited. Orbital Sciences’ Antares vehicle is grounded due engine problems on their last flight resulting in the loss of the payload. Europe has ended the manufacture of their ATV cargo craft. Japanese HTVs may be possible if their timetable is compressed. SpaceX is the only cargo alternative still flying. No manned option exists.

With the triple loss that Russia has just experienced, spaceflight is in for a bumpy ride.


Carnival of Space #390

Greetings and welcome to another exciting edition of the Carnival of Space. Winter is in full swing with snow in most parts of the Norther Hemisphere. So grab a warn beverage and a blanket. Then snuggle in for a some amazing reading.

Everyday Spacer starts off this weeks edition with a great offer for free eBooks. Just fill out their survey and take your pick of great science fiction books. Well worth the visit.

Next up we have the Flicker feed from the Lunar and Planetary Institute. They have added 10 press release images that are just amazing.

The Next Big Future has a trio of really great articles. The first covers the latest about the Google and Fidelity investments in SpaceX the latest SmallSat project from the forward thinking space company is very ambitious.

Their second article looks at China’s plan for a new Long March 9 capable of lifting over 130 tons to LEO.

The final entry from NBF discusses the SpaceX satellite program in more detail. This one looks at the time it will take for the system to become operational and what this might mean for a communications network for Mars.

The Chandra X-Ray Website is participating in the International Year of Light. As part of the celebration, they are releasing a host of new images.

Is the Milky Way a huge stable and navigable wormhole? Universe today discuses these possibilities in the first of two articles in this weeks Carnival.

For their second article Universe Today looks at what the new Mnemonic might need to be for the solar system.

We close the Carnival this week with an article from the Meridian Journal. Kepler has discovered three new superearths and they are very close (relatively speaking).

That’s it for the Carnival this week. Check back next time for more great articles from the news websites around the internet.


Carnival of Space No. 385

Welcome to this week’s edition of Carnival of Space. This being the week of Christmas, let’s all grab a cup of cheer (or eggnog if you prefer) and settle in for some light space happening reading.

First up this week, CosmoQuest discusses the latest crater naming contest. This one for the planet Mercury:

You can join a public naming campaign to give 5 exciting craters on Mercury a name.

Robert Heinlein once said that if you can get to Earth orbit, you are halfway to anywhere. But how do you get from LEO to there? Next Big Future shares three articles that take a look at just that problem. Their set of news items focuses on engines designed for deep space:

How do METs Mach Effect Thrusters work? A new presentation presents improved theoretical work and updated experiments.

The theory and experiments for Mach Effect Thrusters look good and are worth scaling. If it proves out and does scale with better materials and higher power levels (into the megawatt ranges) then it could enable propellantless propulsion up to 1G space drive and beyond.

Sonny White updates his space warping and emdrive experiments in a video presentation at Ames NASA

The Meridian Journal features two articles on planetary happenings. First they take a look at something curious Curiosity has found on Mars. The follow that up with a look at dune sculpting on Saturn’s moon Titan:

Curiosity rover finds methane and organics on Mars.

Strong winds explain Titan’s immense dunes, according to new study

Bonus News:
MadeInSpace has some news about their printing of 3d objects in space:

Until now, all of the parts printed on the ISS have been available from an SD card. MadeInSpace recently sent a file to the ISS for printing that was not on the card. The first uplink tool made in space is…

That’s a wrap for Carnival of Space, Christmas style. Remember the Carnival is published each and every week by a dedicated team of bloggers. Dont miss ach exciting edition!

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