Welcome to the latest installment of The Carnival of Space! Here’s some highlights of space and astronomy news from the past week. We’ve got great stories on the M82 Supernova, NASA’S LADEE mission, the “mystery” Mars rock, and more!
First off, Next Big Future has a trio of articles covering some awesome new innovations coming out of NASA. First up is a conceptual solution to asteroid impacts by “fragmenting” the asteroid. Read more at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/02/nasa-institute-advanced-concepts-look.html
Next up are more NASA NIAC conference updates, learn more about Spiderfab, and “photonic” thrusters which use no propellant at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/02/nasa-niac-robert-hoyt-spiderfab-and.html
Last up from Nextbigfuture, Skybox was founded out of the CubeSat community and they are ardent believers in the power of commodity, commercial electronics to change the cost of doing business in space. Traditional satellites capable of taking imagery at better than 1 meter resolution weigh thousands of kilograms, which makes it prohibitively expensive to launch enough of them to capture timely imagery. Check out the full article on Skybox at:
Next up is a pair of articles from my good friends at Cosmoquest:
First up, What’s in an Asteroid? Asteroid Itokawa reveals a strange interior in new observations spanning 12 years. Learn more at: http://cosmoquest.org/x/blog/2014/02/whats-in-an-asteroid/
Next from Cosmoquest, M82 Supernova Update: The VLA doesn’t see the afterglow, but it does create a lovely new map of the central regions of the galaxy.
Full article at: http://cosmoquest.org/x/blog/2014/02/m82-supernova-update/
Keep reading for more awesome stories from the past week in space news!
Understanding The Drake Equation: An Interview with Frank Drake Conducted by Andrew Fraknoi (June 24, 2012)
With SETI celebrating their 30th anniversary, an interview with Frank Drake from 2012 has been released. For those not familiar with Drake, he was the first president of SETI, and creator of the “Drake Equation” which adresses the probability of life (simple or advanced) in star systems other than our own.
The interview was conducted by Dr. Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College / Astronomical Society of the Pacific), and covers Drake’s career, his current thoughts on the search for life elsewhere, and his recent thoughts on his now-famous equation. Additionally, Drake reflects on the explosion of exoplanet detections as of late (no confirmed exoplanets had been detected when Drake originally derived his equations).
Learn more about SETI at: http://www.seti.org/
In this month’s “What’s Up” from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explore all eight planets in the sky, plus mission updates from comet and asteroid missions Dawn and Rosetta.
In case you missed it, here is the video of this week’s “Weekly Space Hangout” hosted by my pal, Fraser Cain. Lots of great space news, fun discussions, and some special guest appearances.