Sunday, March 31, 2013

Carnival of Space 295

Well its Easter Sunday afternoon, and while many are contemplating substitutional atonement and triumphant returns, a full-on Dr Who Marathon is going on in the next room, eagerly awaiting, tonight's return of The Dr and souffle girl. So while the family review the journeys of the favored tenth Doctor, I get to stand in and take you on a real tour of the universe, bought to you by our regular Astronomy and Space Blog hosts.

Its Carnival Time!

Stars Blowing Up!

A Type II Supernova went off this week in M65, partially obscured by the waxing moon, Ian at Astroblog managed to capture the action.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Blog discusses the birth and makeup of Neutron Stars. Find out what happens after a supernova!

Image Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Other Worlds!

Emily from the Planetary Society brings us a round up of the latest science on mineralogy due to water on Mars from the 2013 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Water, water, everywhere - there is stunning imagery and some great papers, perhaps one of the most interesting is a paper on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

Image Credit: NASA / JPL / UA

The Meridiani Journal asks, does Europa have Penitentes? Paul also looks at suggestions the Curiosity Rover may have found a rock varnish similar to a desert varnish found on arid rocks on Earth.

Again at the LPSC 2013, Van also writing for the Planetary Society, reports on the concepts for future missions to these distant worlds.

While we are on conferences - the Why Home School Blog brings us a preview and call-out for the upcoming Space Access Conference 2013 which will be held this year in Phoenix from April 11 to the 13th. This was the conference from which the idea of the Carnival of Space was born. As we approach the 300th episode, its important to remember the very first episode of Carnival of Space was hosted on the Why Home School Blog way back in 2007.

Near Misses!

Back to Astroblog, Ian has also created a Celestia plugin file which simulates the very close approach of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) to Mars in Oct 2014. Latest details indicate it will approach at a distance of 4 times the distance to the Martian Moon Demios.

Ian also discusses the most recent internet hoax of a "non-close approach" of a fake asteroid, and what we can learn from such hoaxes.

Spacecraft propulsion!

Next Big Future reports on how nuclear fusion microbomb explosions could propel a spaceship to Mars at 200,000 miles per hour. The design is by Winterberg who developed the theory that would become the global positioning system and the designs that became project Daedelus. Edward Teller said Winterbergs contributions to the nuclear fusion bomb were underrated. Anything that uses multi-mega-amperegigavolt proton beams must be fast - right?

Brian also reports on a joint press conference with NASA and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on March 28,2013, where the company indicated it will try a water landing of its Falcon 9 first stage later this year. The landing will be the start of a series of flight tests that could culminate with an attempted propulsive landing of a first stage back at its launch site in the middle of 2014, Musk said. This could be the beginning of the reusable rocket age which would lower costs to space by 100 times.

Next Big Future also details another form of future propulsion - a 10 kilohertz high power high frequency laser that could enable a cheaper Large Hadron class particle accelerator and accelerate development of 75 megahertz laser fusion space propulsion.

Image Credit: NASA, John Chapman

The Urban Astronomer helps out a computer game designer with the question - do backward facing guns on a spaceship make it go faster?

Science and Education!

The Smaller Questions Blog reports on the latest data from the C-BASS or the "C Band all sky survey" from the Planck Space Telescope.

The Chandra Blog from time to time features profiles of talented astronomers. Paul Green is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His scientific research includes the study of quasars and carbon stars.

The Here, There & Everywhere Blog visits the Carmel High School library and planetarium in Indiana.

At the Aesthetics & Astronomy Project Blog, Amanda interviews Professor Smith from University of Otago about the wonder and sublime found in Astronomical images.

Finally, to test that Psychology of Aesthetics on my own AARTScope Blog, I have finally found some time to collect some photos of the Eta Carina Nebula and process a nice narrowband close-up of the pillars in the Keyhole Nebula. It contains scientific proof ..... "the universe is bigger on the inside" [Apologies to non Dr Who fans ;-) ]

Image Credit: Peter Lake, 0.5m Planewave Q62 Siding Spring, NSW.

The Carnival of Space is a community of interest blog carnival, bringing together the best and brightest Astronomy & Space Blogs at a single point in space and time (commonly referred to as a web address) each week. Previous episodes can be found here. If you run an astronomy or space science blog you can contact carnivalofspace @ gmail.com to be added to the editorial circulation list.

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