Carnival of Space 178Posted: November 24, 2010
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Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Carnival of Space. If you’ve not been to one of these before it aims to be a handy round up of all the astronomy blogging that’s been buzzing round the internet in the past week. And if this week’s news isn’t enough for you head over to the Carnival Homepage for the full archive.
First up, zombie microbes at Discovery News! The idea that life on Earth was spawned by cometary hitchhikers isn’t new, but were they dead when they arrived? On a similar theme, Weird Sciences discusses a new project which aims to find out whether life on Mars (if it exists) is related to life a lot closer to home.
Sticking with Mars, 21st Century Waves talks about astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s recent book and his ideas about martian colonization. Universe Today assesses the chances the hibernating Spirit rover might wake up (fingers crossed) or whether it truly is lost for good. On a more positive note Spirit’s twin Opportunity is still going strong even if it has no time to stop and enjoy the scenery, much to The Road To Endeavour‘s disappointment. Next Big Future has a solution that would allow future rovers to harvest gas from the Martian atmosphere to give them a rocket-propelled boost.
Moving further out, the Urban Astronomer continues an interesting series on the planets with the seventh, Uranus, whilst The Martian Chronicles recounts the troubles the Hayabusa probe encountered in successfully returning asteroid dust to Earth. Still on the space travel theme, Cheap Astronomy‘s podcast this week is on the best way to power deep space missions.
Time for some much more distant planets now. The big news this week has been HIP 13044b, though you may know it better as ‘The Planet From Another Galaxy’. Dynamics of Cats, Astronotes and Centauri Dreams all cover the story. On a similar theme, Weird Warp discusses a new way of finding other exoplanets using their dust tails.
Stars are the topic for the next couple of posts. First, Science Backstage discusses how pulsars could be used to detect Earth’s motion. Next, definitely head over to Starry Critters to see the death throes of a star as a beautiful space jellyfish. A more explosive type of stellar death is concerning Simoastronomy – do puny white dwarfs make wimpy supernovae? These explosions make heavy elements; you can find out more about this over at the interestingly-named Lounge of the Lab Lemming.
I think we’ve established there are lots of fascinating things out there but can we ever go and visit them? Weird Sciences is trying to find out, whilst Next Big Future is trying to make the journey safer.
Finally, AstroWoW has started a new project to explore the Universe, one word at a time. This week’s word (thanks to some cheeky hyphenation) is Light-year. Head over there to find out more.
A proper carnival needs a firework at the end, so here’s a massive one – the Firework Galaxy (NGC 6946) as seen by the Gemini Telescope: