Carnival of Space #304
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 Lunar telescopes, space telescopes, Star Trek: Continues, The best places to look for life in our solar system, and more!
First off, The Murchison Wide-field Array, a low frequency radio telescope built in Australia as a Square Kilometer Array precursor project, has recently come online discusses NASA cancelling Education and Public Outreach efforts due to budget sequestration. Read more at The Urban Astronomer: http://www.urban-astronomer.com/Urban-Astronomer-Updates/newaustralianradiotelescope
Dr Paul Spudis brings us: “Alien Minerals Found in Lunar Crater – Film at Eleven!” at: http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon/2013/05/alien-minerals-found-in-lunar-crater-film-at-eleven/
Around Town posts feature ‘quickie’ notes about activities that you can do locally or online. We want to let you know about as many different things out there that you can do – often, right where you are – and sometimes just for taking the time to go look. Learn more from Everyday Spacer at: http://spacer.pamhoffman.com/around-town-beginning-of-june-2013/
Dr. David Kring gives us additional insight on the Chebalynsk meteor air-blast at: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/newsletters/lpib/current.pdf
Keep reading for more great highlights from the past week in space and astronomy news!
Here is a trio of great stories from Next Big Future. First, Mass-produced “intelligent” spacecraft weighing 100-300 kg (220-660 lb.) could assemble themselves into a constellation shaped to collect, convert and transmit solar energy through the “hive” of other spacecraft to a transmitter array assembled in the same fashion. Learn more at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/05/components-of-solar-power-satellite.html. Next up, Jonathan Markley provided a report on the Starship conference to Transterrestrial. Futurist Schwarz sees 4 possibilities for interstellar ship. Freeman Dyson sees bio-tech as the way of the future in space, to the point where genetic engineering allows us to create tree-lite plants that can grow their own vacuum-sealed habitats, with oxygen etc contained inside. Much more from Zubrin, Landis, Crowl, Cramer and others at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/05/highlights-of-starship-conference.html. Speaking of starships… If you loved the original Star Trek series then check out Star Trek Continues. It is like there is an 80th episode. The look, sound, writing and acting continue the old series. Check it out at: http://www.startrekcontinues.com/star-trek-continues-episode-1-pilgrim-of-eternity/#.UazvSitDuvg
Next up from Mark Whittington, Moon Express to deploy first lunar telescope in 2015, Planetary Resources to crowd fund its first Arkyd space telescope, Texas Gov. Perry signs SpaceX Brownsville space port beach closing law, and the response from Elon Musk. Learn more at: http://www.examiner.com/article/moon-express-to-deploy-first-lunar-telescope-2015 , http://www.examiner.com/article/planetary-resources-to-crowd-fund-its-first-arkyd-space-telescope , http://www.examiner.com/article/texas-gov-perry-signs-spacex-brownsville-space-port-beach-closing-law, and http://www.examiner.com/article/spacex-s-elon-musk-lauds-the-passage-of-the-texas-space-port-beach-closure-law?cid=db_articles
Fermi asked “where are they?” and many would conclude that if there are intelligent beings somewhere other than here, that they would have little reason to come even if they could. But what if we are more interesting than we think? Maybe not our minds, our culture, our TV shows… but what about the information in the genetic codes of all life on Earth? Find out more at: http://flyingsinger.blogspot.com/2013/05/why-would-aliens-care-about-us.html
Tachyons, hypothetical sub-atomic particles which travel faster than light, once attracted a lot of publicity yet we do not hear much discussion of them today. Visit http://www.armaghplanet.com/blog/what-ever-happened-to-tachyons.html to explore the theory of these entities to determine if they really exist.
NASA turned the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California towards Asteroid 1998 QE2 as it was heading towards its closest approach to Earth, and they got a big surprise: the asteroid is a binary system. 1998 QE2 itself is 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in diameter, and the newly found orbiting moon is about 600 meters in diameter. Learn more from Universe Today at: http://www.universetoday.com/102532/surprise-earth-passing-asteroid-1998-qe2-has-a-moon/
What are the three best places in the solar system to look for life (other than Mars)? Find out at: http://themeridianijournal.com/2013/05/the-three-best-places-in-the-solar-system-to-look-for-life-other-than-mars/
The Tranquility base blog answers the question: “Do you really need to wear a spacesuit on the moon?” at: http://tranquilitybaseblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/do-you-need-to-wear-spacesuit-on-moon.html
Weirdwarp discusses both sides of the age old debate: “Does God Exist?” at: http://www.weirdwarp.com/2010/10/would-finding-an-alien-civilisation-prove-or-deny-the-existence-of-god/
When Curiosity was coasting through interplanetary space on its way to Mars, I doubt it considered the possibility that the landing site inside Gale Crater would be a pebbly beach — almost. Although “beach” is a little generous, NASA scientists revealed on Thursday that the nuclear-powered rover had imaged pebbles that were shaped by water embedded in rock at “Bradbury Landing” — Curiosity’s landing site. Pebbles as small as grains of sand up to the size of golf balls were photographed inside conglomerate rock, a sign that they were shaped in a riverbed. Learn more at: http://news.discovery.com/space/lifes-a-beach-for-curiosity-mars-pebbles-discovered-130531.htm
Last, but not least, The next episode of The Cosmic Ray Show – an astronomy and science talk show airs on June 4th, at 8PM Pacific. Join host Ray Sanders, and guests Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy Blog), and Geoff Notkin (Discovery’s Meteorite Men) with musical guest James Olmos. Learn more at www.cosmicray.tv
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. If you have a science/space blog, joining the carnival is a good way to meet members of the space/science blogging community and help your site reach a wider audience.
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