Carnival of Space 262

Ladies and gentlemen and variations thereupon, I bid you welcome to this week’s edition of Carnival of Space. With Curiosity’s daredevil landing on Mars this week, there’s a distinctly martian flavour about this carnival! Whether this is your first time joining us or you’ve been enjoying the carnival for many years, I’m sure you’ll find many things here to fascinate and amuse!

Mars is easily one of the most well studied places in the Solar System. At Australian Science, Kevin Orrman-Rossiter gives an overview of the history of Mars, and the history of our exploration of it!

During Curiosity’s landing, a lot of dust and gravel were blasted up on top of the rover. Ian O’Neill at Discovery Space assures us that this doesn’t pose a hazard to Curiosity’s instrumentation!

Mark Whittington at Yahoo News considers the new space policy debate sparked by Curiosity’s safe landing. What should NASA’s direction actually be and how much money should be spent on it are some of the questions being asked.

At It’s Okay to be Smart, Joe Hanson voices what many of us are thinking in his reaction to CNN’s dreadful coverage of the latest Mars landing.

At Australian Science, I take the opportunity to remind us all about the methane plumes detected in the atmosphere of Mars in 2009 – the source of which is still unknown!

It’s not every day that you hear “Chandra” and the “Olympics” in the same sentence. The Chandra Blog tells us all about olympic diver and PhD astrophysicist Stacie Powell!

One of the very first predictions of General Relativity was that sunlight should be gravitationally redshifted. Urban Astronomer Allen Versfeld explains how detecting this has proven to be extremely difficult!

Have a look at this Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 4700 – Starry Critters tells all about how those smudges of pink are actually vast regions of stellar nurseries!

Could old stars form new planets? Here on Supernova Condensate, I discuss a dying star system which could be doing just that!

Black holes sing with deep voices. Lauren at Science in a Can tells us all about a musical black hole which sings in B flat – 57 octaves below middle C!

In the 1960s, planetary flybys were all the rage at NASA! Amy Shira Teitel at Vintage Space takes a look at an old NASA proposal to send a manned craft on a triple planet flyby, Venus-Mars-Venus in one mission!

Many of us were concerned to hear that Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, recently underwent coronary bypass surgery. Mark Whittington at Yahoo News assures us that he’s reported to be “doing great” by his family and friends.

In memory of Jodrell Bank’s Sir Bernard Lovell, who sadly passed away last week, Dr Paul Spudis at The Once and Future Moon recounts the misinterpretation by the West of the Soviet’s Luna 9 imagery, facilitated by Jodrell Bank astronomers eavesdropping on the Soviets.

Was NASA’s infamous Apollo 13 actually saved by an unknown grad student at MIT? Quantumaniac tells us about a Reddit conversation with NASA’s ex-deputy chief of media relations, in which he said exactly that.

Is crowdsourced funding the future of space exploration? Wayne Hall tells us how Kentucky Space has created an Arduino-friendly electronics prototyping board meant to give amateur coders and makers a method to experiment with their own space-related applications. Their project has just launched on Kickstarter.

NASA’s Project Morpheus, intended to eventually transport cargo to the Moon. Mark Whittington at Examiner tells us of their recent ill-fated prototype test and the resulting setback for the project.

The B612 Foundation is intending on launching the first privately funded space telescope to track the orbits of inner solar system asteroids. Their  goal is to find every potentially Earth-impacting object out there. At Universe Today, Nancy Atkinson gets an update from the foundation’s Chairman Emeritus, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart.

Exactly how alien would a real life alien be? With reference to the Strugatskys’ wonderful novel Roadside Picnic, Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams follows up on recent discussions with science writer Michael Chorost and ponders this question.

Steve Nerlich answers astronomy questions in the Cheap Astronomy podcast.

Stefan Lamoureux at Links Through Space tells us all about an exhibition set up by Finnish astronomy club Toutatis to celebrate their second anniversary!

Panguite is an ancient mineral discovered in the Allende meteorite. Quantumaniac tells the tale of a rock which is older than our planet!

Have you ever wanted to fly through the Kuiper belt? Alex Parker at CosmoQuest tells us all about a brilliant simulation of doing just that!

Astroblogger Ian Musgrave makes a plea for Sky Literacy, musing on misidentifications of planet Venus and how to improve peoples’ familiarity with the skies above us.

Rounding off this week’s Carnival of Space, a poem from TychoGirl, Like Salt Sprinkled on Black Velvet.

Well, that’s all for this week’s carnival. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and to you for reading. See you next time!

If you blog about space and astronomy and you’d like to take part in Carnival of Space, please feel free to drop us an email. We’d love for you to get involved!

Image Credits:
Victoria Crater, Mars – NASA JPL/Cornell
Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 – NASA
Spirit Rover – NASA JPL
Flic Flac Circus, Köln-Kalk – Wo st 01 @ Wikimedia Commons
Fusée de Tintin – Prosopee  @ Wikimedia Commons
Sunset on Mars – NASA
Curiosity 1 – NASA JPL
Curiosity 2 – NASA JPL
Ps: Spirit says hi!

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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