Carnival of Space #248
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 Astrophotography, Spaceflight, This weekend’s “supermoon”, test pilots, astronomy word of the week, and more!
This sunday the moon was at Perigee, The closest to earth. Also the Moon was in its full phase. We will have a slightly larger than normal full moon. Numerous people have taken photos of the “supermoon”. Read more at http://www.thevenustransit.com/
Drawing lines on the sky…the astronomy word of the week is “meridian”! Check it out at http://astrowow.wordpress.com
Cheap Astronomy presents on podcast on how the age of the universe is calculated. Listen at: http://www.cheapastro.com/podcasts/CA140_AgeOfUniverse.mp3
Here’s a quartet of stories from Next Big Future. For starters, A new approach to solar sails is taking shape in a clean room in an Illinois laboratory. Researchers there have designed a sail that would unfurl from bobbins into a giant space ribbon 250 meters long, says Victoria Coverstone, an aerospace engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Read more at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/05/cube-sail-and-other-solar-sails.html
Next up, Another type of Dyson Sphere is the “Dyson bubble”. It would be similar to a Dyson swarm, composed of many independent constructs. Unlike the Dyson swarm, the constructs making it up are not in orbit around the star, but would be statites—satellites suspended by use of enormous light sails using radiation pressure to counteract the star’s pull of gravity. Read the full article at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/05/adam-crowl-design-for-dyson-bubble-of.html
Blue Origin is a secretive private spaceflight firm, which was established in 2000 by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, is developing systems to launch astronauts to both suborbital and orbital space. Learn more about Blue Origin at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/04/blue-origin-is-also-trying-to-get.html
Lastly, Check out “Cookbook for a Galactic Empire” – Civilization Demand and Resources for Energy Relative to Kardashev Scale. An outline of the economic growth that would drive the energy demands to climb the Kardashev scale and the basic technology that will enable getting the energy equivalent of all of the solar energy of the earth, of our sun and of our galaxy. You can read the full post at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/05/civilization-demand-for-energy-relative.html
Had it not been for worried doctors and engineers, Alan Shepard might have launched three weeks before Yuri Gagarin on March 24. Amy Teitel provides coverage at: http://vintagespace.wordpress.com/
Centauri Dreams looks at the ‘Advent of the Belters,’ relating the news from Planetary Resources to older dreams of mining the asteroids. Check it out at: http://www.centauri-dreams.org/
The excitement — and challenges — involved with getting a handle on the mysterious ULX (ultraluminous X-ray source) he and his colleagues discovered in the spiral galaxy M83. Read more at: http://chandra.si.edu/blog/node/372
Jeff Woods is fast emerging as a new master astrophotographer this 4 pane mosaic image of M81 & M82 is nothing short of breathtaking. Check it out at: http://aartscope.blogspot.com
Supernova Condensate explains dwarf novae and how NASA’s STEREO solar observatory caught a nova occurring in real time at supernovacondensate.net
Last, but not least, Links Through Space provides us with some pictures comparing different phases of Venus. The smaller “half-dot” is Venus at 65% of full and the bigger crescent is Venus at 26% of full. The two observations of Venus were taken 2 months apart. (February 26th 2012 and May 1 2012). You can clearly see the difference in the phases.
That’s it for this week’s Carnival of Space! Stay tuned for the next weekly showcase of articles written on the topic of space.
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