Welcome to another 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 black holes, leap seconds, interstellar travel, solar storms, Newt Skywalker’s lunar base plan, and more!
Starting off this week’s Carnival is from Next Big Future, where researchers describe a new system for a society of highly advanced civilizations around a super massive black hole (SMBH), as an advanced Type III “Dyson Sphere,” pointing out an efficient usage of energy for the advanced civilizations. SMBH also works as a sink for waste materials. It would produce 100 million times the power of a dyson sphere around our sun. Check out the full article at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/01/type-iii-dyson-sphere-of-highly.html
Next up, Urban Astronomer reports that The Goddard Institute for Space Studies have released their annual global surface temperature report and, unsurprisingly, showed that 2011 was one of the hottest years on record. That puts 9 out of the top ten in the 21st century so far. Read more at: http://www.urban-astronomer.com/Urban-Astronomer-Updates/2011amonghottestyearsonrecordLinks through Space reports on the recent Sun storms and Solar flares. The Sun is exploding CRAZY! Recently, The Sun ejected the strongest solar radiation storm since September, 2005. A very fast CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) slammed into Earth last week. Learn more at: http://linksthroughspace.blogspot.com/2012/01/sun-storms-and-solar-flares-sun-is.html
Ian Musgrave at Astroblog reports that Comet hunters have unexpectedly found an old comet returning, and we might be able to see it! Read Ian’s post at: http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2012/01/comet-2003-t12-recovered-in-stereo.html
NASA released a new “Blue Marble” image of the western hemisphere this week. This beautiful hi-res image was taken from the recently renamed Suomi NPP satellite. You can view the image, along with a striking and familiar planetary nebulae in a new image of the Helix Nebula over at Starry Critters.
The first of a new generation of Earth-observing satellites, Suomi NPP is NASA’s next Earth-observing research satellite, which will observe many facets of our changing Earth. There are five instruments onboard Suomi NPP, the most important of which is The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite or VIIRS.
What is the size and brightness of the Sun as viewed from the different planets in the Solar System?
Excellent question, Doug!
As the distance increases between a planet and our Sun, not only do planets receive less energy, but the apparent size deceases.
Standing on the surface of Mercury would yield an impressive sight, while standing on Eris, the sun would be much fainter.
Keep reading for a detailed comparison of the Sun’s apparent size through the Solar System.
Bill over at Riding with Robots Is hosting this week’s edition of the Carnival of Space
This week Bill covers LROC, Death Stars, Galaxies, Nibiru, and more!
Check it out at: http://www.ridingwithrobots.org/2012/01/carnival-of-space-233/
Sojourner and its flight spare, named Marie Curie, are 2 feet (65 centimeters) long. The Mars Exploration Rover Project’s rover, including the “Surface System Test Bed” rover in this photo, are 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) long. The Mars Science Laboratory Project’s Curiosity rover and “Vehicle System Test Bed” rover, on the right, are 10 feet (3 meters) long.
The engineers are JPL’s Matt Robinson, left, and Wesley Kuykendall. The California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, operates JPL for NASA.