Carnival of Space #36

As the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society powers on in Texas, us homebodies bring you the 36th Carnival of Space, for your reading pleasure…

Fraser, at Universe Today is streaming a steady flow of space and astro related news from the AAS meeting, as is Therese at Random Thoughts of an Astro Major and the Bad Astronomer.
Hey, they had a blogger party?! Bummer.

So, what goodies do we have this week?

Advanced Nanotechnology tells us about low mass density high temperature high current density superconductors based on cuttlefish bones. There are space applications.

Pradeep at SEDS blogs looks ahead to Indian space program plans for 2008. Looking promising.

The Astronomy Picture of the Day is one of my personal favourite websites, and resource. They got a beaut this week:

Meteor and Aurora from a DC-8 in mid-flight.
(Wait, NASA is flying DC-8?! Still? The budget cuts really did hurt.)

Jonathan Goff at Selenian Boondocks has been plotting his way to space since he was a teenager, this week he does very nice job dissecting an old favourite, the Air Launched Single Stage to Orbit – first of a series on orbit access methodlogies, keep an eye out for those in future carnivals.

A Mars Odyssey is another old dream, they become another blog contemplating the possibility that asteroid 2007 WD5 will impact Mars later this month. The probability of impact is still low, but the orbital refinements over christmas actually increased the impact odds, which is unusual in this game.
Unfortunately for everyone except the odd Mars denizens, the latest observations pretty much preclude an actual impact, this time round. At one point the observations gave odds as high as 1-in-25, but the latest data shows a clean but close miss, with the odds of impact not 1-in-10,000.

collectSPACE has a curious twist on the Saturn V, apparently, or so I am told, NASA engineers decided to see if the first (non-flight but full mock-up) stacked Saturn would bend if pushed. For what happened next, you’ll just have to click through. It is worth a peek.

Out of the Cradle reviews 200 Lunar Science Fiction Stories. Including possibly some I have not yet read.
But, really, they should have done “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” first. Really.
In contrast, The Music of the Spheres, looks at Lunar history and contemplates the future.

The Astro Pixie has a gorgeous movie of RR Lyrae in M3 – which is one of my favourite globulars (ok, I like M4 even more..).. Julianne at Cosmic Variance also did a drive-by of M3 (wait, they’re showing Real Genius at the AAS… wah!).

The Space Cynics lets us know the Space Exploration Alliance is doing a Congress “blitz” to support the Moon-Mars stuff. The Space Cynics want to launch a pre-emptive counter-strike, and there’s free beer! Provided that doesn’t violate the latest congresscritter lobbying seasonal restrictions. And you have to be old enough to be cynical. Repeat after me CRRATS: Cheap, Reliable, Reusable Access to Space – and here I thought they were cynics!

The Babe in the Universe brings a weather report from Saturn, apparently the poles are too hot. No, this is not global warming either.

The Cumbrian Sky contemplates Messengers imminent arrival at Mercury, amazingly Mercury is one of the last serious pieces of real estate in there Solar System which has not been comprehensively mapped . There may be Dragons.

Centauri Dreams points to some interesting new outer planet results Europa’s ocean may be oxidised, and the Mountains of Titan may be water ice.

Finally, Hobby Space has a two-parter on Brits in Spaaaaceeee!
The first part on “a modest astronaut presence” seems to imply that one has to have sex with Richard Branson… too high a price, even for a Sussex grad.
So, plan B is to go through Vegas!



  1. #1 John Mashey
    January 10, 2008

    Speaking as a Penn State grad, just back tonite from dinner with Dean Larson (who volunteered some good words about PSU astro), I ran into:

    “Carnival of Space #36…

    As the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society powers on in Texas, us homebodies bring you the 36th Carnival of Space, for your reading pleasure………”

    I’m curious to know if this is actually you posting this into a dormant thread on RealClimate? or maybe there’s some bot running around that posts things in threads where relevance is hard to discern?

  2. #2 Gaetano Marano
    January 11, 2008


    I don’t agree that an air-launched SSTO is a good idea, as explained in my comments here:

    and here:

    also, I think that COTS rules should changed, as explained in my “What’s wrong in COTS” (and HOW to do it BETTER) article:


  3. #3 Steinn Sigurdsson
    January 11, 2008

    I linked to the Real Climate post on south pole warming on Mars because it relates to the post on south pole warming on Saturn.

    I should not that I authored that entry on Real Climate originally.
    I have been following closely public discussion claiming “warming” on other solar system planets and discussed with the Real Climate people the need for a new entry on warming, or lack thereof, on other solar system planets.

    Trackback links are not posts.

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