Carnival of Space #263
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 Mars, The Higgs Boson, Online Astronomy courses, asteroids, space shuttle launches and more!
Starting off this week’s installment is an article from Next Big Future on an interesting “speederbike” project. If you are interested in being your own test pilot, you can buy a prototype hoverbike now for Australian $80,000
Next up is a trio of articles from Universe Today: And far away from the solar system, zoom into the star-making nebulae of the lonely dwarf galaxy DDO 190 in a new image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Next up is a great Cosmoquest blog post about potential budget cuts in NSF funded astronomy research: The NSF’s Portfolio Review of Astronomy has some depressing news for the state of the field. Here is what it means and how you can help support a healthy science program into the future. You can also read a detailed analysis by Universe Today at: http://www.universetoday.com/96853/us-astronomy-facing-severe-budget-cuts-and-facility-closures/
Over at The Urban Astronomer, you can learn that when conditions are suitable, it’s surprisingly easy to see Venus with the naked eye, in broad daylight!
Amy Teitel at Vintage Space gives us a look at the other Peanuts-based traditions at NASA – it isn’t all handfuls of legumes during launch!
This week’s CheapAstro podcast features an interview with Marion Anderson (Monash University) , Anderson was on the site selection committee that determined the landing region on Mars for NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Do you know somebody who is newly intrigued by space or robotic exploration thanks the Mars Curiosity landing? Now’s a great time to introduce them to some of the other amazing missions that are happening right now. Learn more at: http://www.ridingwithrobots.org/2012/08/not-the-only-robot-in-the-sky-curiositys-cousins/Since Curiosity’s “7-minutes of terror,” NASA’s new Mars mission has been a little tame. On Sunday, however, that all changed. The nuclear-powered rover blasted a rock with its laser, marking the beginning of Curiosity’s Mars domination! Shock and awe, Mars rover style. Read the full article at: http://astroengine.com/2012/08/19/shock-and-awe-curiosity-laser-blasts-first-mars-rock/
The recent alignments of Venus and Moon, and Mars and Saturn, coincided with a major earthquake, do planetary alignments really cause earthquakes? Learn more at: http://astroblogger.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/earthquakes-and-alignments-again.html
Over at The Meridiani Journal you can read up on A comparison of the size of Mount Sharp on Mars (in Gale crater where the Curiosity rover just landed) with some mountains on Earth.
From our friends at the Chandra Blog, here is Q&A With Michael McDonald on the Phoenix Cluster
With all the media attention on NASA’s Curiosity rover, it’s no surprise that some “fun” videos about the mission have begun to surface. This video is a fun little hip-hop music video about just how badass NASA is. Watch the video clip courtesy of this site at: http://www.dearastronomer.com/2012/08/15/were-nasa-and-we-know-it-mars-curiosity/
From The Examiner, here are several great articles:
Here’s another article from Next Big Future which talks about Scaling Mach Effect Propulsion from the micronewtons of the James Woodward test by many orders of magnitude with new materials and increased frequency
Nothing captures the imagination like visiting other planets, but dwarf planets are exciting too. Currently in orbit around Vesta, the Dawn spacecraft is our ambassador to the asteroids. And she’s preparing to depart on her three year journey to visit Ceres. Learn more at: http://supernovacondensate.net/2012/08/15/asteroid-spotting/
While NASA had been testing its Morpheus and Mighty Eagle landing vehicle prototypes, a private company, Masten Space Systems, has been conducting free flight tests of its own vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, the Xombie, under contract with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Read the full article at: http://www.examiner.com/article/masten-xombie-rocket-completes-third-envelope-expanding-free-flight-test?cid=db_articles
SETI by radio or optical methods is tricky enough. But would a starship be detectable from space-based or even terrestrial observatories? Centauri Dreams looks at the question in light of a Robert Zubrin paper.
For your reading enjoyment, here are some space articles via Yahoo:
Explore ancient streambeds threading across Antoniadi Crater in an image from the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Antoniadi Crater was a possible landing site for the Curiosity rover because of the abundant evidence of past water in the area. Learn more at: http://www.starrycritters.com/giant-ferns-of-antoniadi/
Last, but not least, The high failure rate of missions launched from Earth attempting to
explore Mars has become informally known as the “”Mars Curse”" or “”Martian Curse”". With the recent landing of Curiosity with a high risk method, Is the Curse ancient history? Read more at Links Through Space
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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