Welcome to the Carnival of Space #115. For more information on the Carnival of Space, please click here.
Kepler Gets Early Results
You can tell the news is exciting when three different blogs can’t wait to share it:
Steinn Sigurðsson of Dynamics of Cats updates us on NASA’s Kepler Planet Finding Mission. It has made its first discovery, while still being calibrated.
Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy also seems pretty excited about Kepler coming online, and with good cause. As he explains, the results from the calibration and testing indicate that if there are Earth-like planets in the direction it’s pointed, Kepler is going to find them.
Kepler Measures a Planetary Atmosphere. Media Sleeps Through It. The Space Writer is Ticked.
IAU Meets, Fails to Remove Planet Status from Hollywood
Megan Watzke of the Chandra X-Ray Center fills us in on the hidden (and horrifying) connection between the last meeting of the International Astronomical Union and old Barry Manilow songs.
The site for space collectors, collectSPACE, tells us why a certain NASA patch has sold out a month before the payload it celebrates is even launched. Here’s a hint: the answer rhymes with “Cephen Stolbert.”
Amateur Astronomer Spots Despina
You might assume that there’s nothing new to spot in old Voyager 2 photos. But you’d be wrong. Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society Blog has the tale of an amateur astronomer who spotted a never before seen image of Despina, one of Neptune’s moons, in a photo that’s almost 20 years old.
Anomalies: Not Just for Explaining Away Plot Holes on Star Trek
At Centauri Dreams, Paul Gilster discusses recent work identifying four anomalous findings right here in the Solar System that need to be examined as a way of clarifying old theory or, perhaps, suggesting new…
Is It WISE To Do Astronomy In Mid-Infrared? SPOILER ALERT!: Yes.
DJ of OrbitalHub has a great article about the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a NASA-funded scientific research project that will provide an all-sky survey in the mid-infrared wavelength range.
PODCAST: No Place Like Home
Iceteroids! and the 2012 Planetary Alignment Hoax
Mang’s Bat Page has two entries for the Carnival this time around. First, there’s a messy new bunch of kids in the solar system. Half comet and half asteroid they orbit in the main asteroid belt and leave a dusty, gassy wake.
Second, Mang’s Bat Page takes us deep inside an evil conspiracy at Lowell Observatory, as revealed by a gift shop t-shirt.
Simple and Not-So-Simple
The Reason We Go Into Space and Photonic Propulsion
From Nextbigfuture, there is finally official talk of a worthy new purpose for the space program: the underlying reason why we do human spaceflight is the extension of human civilization beyond Earth, and from the Bae Institute, continued work on photonic propulsion and a new approach to nuclear fusion with efficient x-ray production.
Rage Against the Sky
The Angry Astronomer takes out his rage this week on using the Sunayev-Zel’dovich effect to find galaxies, forming stars in W51a, and the color of Active Galactic Nuclei.
Ian Musgrave of Astroblog stars in…“Return of the Zombie Mars Hoax that will not Die!”
The Mars Hoax email is still circulating, so why not use this as a learning opportunity? How big WILL Mars look, and why does it change
from opposition to opposition?
South Korea is Heading Up
Bruce Cordell of 21st Century Waves brings us “South Korea — Preparing for the New Global Space Race”
Bringing Souvenirs Back from Mars
David S.F. Portree of Robot Explorers brings us look at the MRSR Deliver and Return Study, or 8.75 ways of doing a Mars Sample Return mission more cheaply than JPL thought it could be done.
Pacific Ocean Bigger Than Previously Thought
Charles W. Magee Jr. relaxes in the Lounge of the Lab Lemming and delivers a startling assertion: the Pacific Ocean is over 2.5 trillion kilometers wide!
Bluegrass is Bluer in Orbit
Kentucky Space has been busy lately, preparing for a sub-orbital mission from Wallops, putting together presentations for the annual CubeSat Developer’s Workshop this weekend – including a video demonstration of an orbital simulator developed in-house – and continuing work on KySat-1, its first orbital spacecraft. Come by for an update!
Death From the Skies! Again.
Ian O’Neill asks “Are we looking down the barrel of a gamma ray burster?” at Discovery Space.
Supernova Condensate has opened the dread portal to cthonian planets – gas giants that have ventured too close to their star – with hellish results…
Music of the Spheres
The Flying Singer combines planetary orbits and real music in “Music of the Spheres”. It’s rare for something to combine these two subjects in real life, but a piece of software called Kepler’s Orrery does so, using gravitational equations to compose and play ambient music.