Carnival of Space #179

Welcome to the carnival of space #179. If you have no idea what a carnival of space is, you can hit this page at Universe Today.

Imagine however a lunar base derived from S-IVB lander stages, as mentioned above. Each station would be the colonizable equivalent of Skylab on the ground– coverable with lunar regolith for radiation protection. With two men landing in the S-IVB, a very minimal 2 man personal reentry vehicle, imagine a version of the MOOSE (upper right) and a small two stage booster (perhaps the equivalent of the LESS on top of the MOBEV, see top center) with one of the reentry protection concepts from upper right, about 3.5 tons of the landed 7 ton payload would be the direct up return craft and reentry vehicle, (this is only HALF the weight of the 3 man Command Module alone that actually flew!) the rest supplies for expedition and colonizing the LASS lander.

Joseph Friedlander at Next Big Future site, talks about What was the best way to use the Saturn V to reach the Moon– in retrospect? An excellent discussion. Mr. Brian Wang discusses Vasimr 200 kilowatt plasma rocket achieves full power milestone.

To celebrate Mars Express’ recent mission extension to 2014, here[At Planetary Blog] are some cool pictures that it took of Mars’ inner and larger moon Phobos.

Steve Nerlich at Cheap Astronomy exudes a podcast on the origin of the oceans.

Online Schools hosts an article about space resources and also an introduction to black holes.

November 23rd, astronomers from the Asiago Novae and Symbiotic Stars collaboration announced recent changes in the symbiotic variable star, AX Persei, could indicate the onset of a rare eruption of this system. The last major eruption took place between 1988 and1992. In the (northern hemisphere) spring of 2009, AX Per underwent a short outburst that was the first time since 1992 this star had experienced a bright phase. Now AX Per is on the rise again. This has tempted astronomers to speculate that another major eruption could be in the making.

The AAVSO light curve of AX Persei from 1970 to November 2010. In the middle is the eruption of 1988-1992. The precursor outburst is the sudden narrow brightening left of the larger eruption. To the right of the light curve you can see the 2009 brightening event. Is this a precursor to a coming major eruption?

Symbiotic variable stars are binary systems whose members are a hot compact white dwarf in a wide orbit around a cool giant star. The orbital periods of symbiotic variables are between 100 and 2000 days. Unlike dwarf novae, compact binaries whose periods are measured in hours, where mass is transferred directly via an accretion disk around the white dwarf, siphoned directly from the surface of the secondary, in symbiotic variables the pair orbit each other far enough away that the mass exchanged between them comes from the strong stellar wind blowing off the red giant. Both stars reside within a shared cloud of gas and dust called a common envelope.

You can find more about it on Mike Simonsen’s blog Simostronomy.

Jupiter’s missing  belt to return? by Ian Musgrave

Cepheids are not such eclipsing binaries, being intrinsically variable, that is their fluctuating brightness comes from some process inside them. Cepheids literally shrink as they dim and swell as they brighten. In 1908,  Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1864-1921) discovered that Cepheids pulse at a rate governed by their brightness. This discovery, published in 1912, was based on painstaking measurements of 1777 stars’ characteristics recorded at Harvard College Observatory when Leavitt was employed as a ‘calculator’, a lowly paid female astronomer who performed mathematical calculations for the Observatory’s research staff. Sadly she received little credit for her work on Cepheids during her lifetime.

Colin Johnston has a excellent article on Cepheids which are massive, pulsating stars, valued by astronomers for the precise link between their brightness and steady pulsation. Let’s look at the history of Cepheid variables and how recent discoveries about these stars shatter established theories of stellar evolution.

The WISE mission has received a lot of press in terms of discovering nearby brown dwarfs, but it’s clear that finding low-temperature objects is a major investigation at many Earth-bound sites as well. That includes the UKIRT (United Kingdom Infrared Telescope) Deep Sky Survey’s project to find the coolest objects in our galaxy, an effort that has paid off in the form of a unique binary system. One of the stars here is a cool, methane-rich T-dwarf, while the other is a white dwarf, the two low-mass stars orbiting each other though separated by a quarter of a light year.

The twin objects are now known as LSPM 1459+0857 A and B, a binary that has held together despite the perturbations of the white dwarf’s history and the system’s own passage through the galactic disk. The paper notes that “This system is an example of how wide BD binary companions to white dwarfs make good benchmark objects, which will help test model atmospheres, and may provide independent means to calibrate BD properties of field objects.

Paul Gilster elucidates  some fascinating features of  Brown Dwarfs. Visit it at Centauri Dreams.

The Docrtine of  Mutually Assured Exclusion, and what will happen to our dreams of being a spacefaring civilization if we blow up each others’ satellites during a war and the resulting debris field that will prevent *anyone* from leaving Earth for a long time to come…

It’s a MAE MAE MAE MAE MAE MAE World…. by Shubber of  Space Cynics Blog

It’s a good news for space geeks. US Postal Service revealed designs for 2011 space stamps. The stamp’s design, which was quietly released last week by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), shows Shepard from his shoulders up centered between images of his rocket lifting off and his capsule above the Earth. The pair — or “se-tenant” — of space-themed stamps was revealed in the USPS’s annual report for 2010, which was posted to the postal service’s website Nov. 15. The two stamps are displayed with other commemoratives planned for next year as a lead in to the report’s financial section.

You can find out more about it HERE.

What might we see at Santa Maria..? BY Stuart Atkinson |The Road To Endeavour

Despite uncertainties in budget, Lockheed engineers are still thinking of
missions for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.  One possible mission would
take Orion to the Earth-Moon L2 point: Far side of the moon by Louise Riofrio

Another plan being discussed would launch Orion unmanned atop a Delta IV in 2013.  If successful, this mission into high Earth orbit would clear the way for a human asteroid mission around 2015.

Each day more exoplanets discovered and displayed in the news so often their findings. It is common to know the discovery of a new exoplanet, so-called Hot Jupiters, but, What is a hot Jupiter-like exoplanet?
Currently there are different techniques for the detection of these bodies around other stars: radial velocity measurement (distance or closer to the star to us) or the proper motion (motion with respect to bottom) of the star for transits (the planet passes between the star and us, causing a drop in the observed brightness in the star) or by direct observation. All these techniques have limitations as to the bodies that can detect, and that as technology improves (especially with the use of space telescopes and adaptive optics) this limit is reduced.[ Translated via Google Translate]
Francisco Sevilla of  Vega0.0 blog Discusses Exoplanetas de tipo Júpiteres Calientes.[Spanish]
Here is English version: Hot Jupiter Type Exoplanets.
Here is article on Dinosaur extinction mystery where Victor Babbitt proposes new theory regarding K-T Extinction.
Extinction in itself is, throughout geologic history, the norm rather than the exception.  The fact that many species perished in the aftermath of the many environmental calamities that occurred around 65 million years ago, (the Chicxulub asteroid impact and Deccan Volcanism) is hardly surprising.  The real question has always been the differential survival of species.  Dinosaurs were the dominant land animals for over 100 million years, the dominant herbivores, the dominant predators, ranging from chicken size to the largest land animals that ever lived, adapted to every environment, and living on every continent from pole to pole.  The question of  how this dominance ended is important, as it is fully possible that without this extinction, dinosaurs would still rule the earth, and mammals might still be rat sized animals rustling through the underbrush.
Cheers up!!

Carnival of Space #168

Welcome to the Carnival of  Space #168 and WeirdSciences. If you are visiting the carnival of space for the first time and you have no idea what a carnival of space is, you can try to go to Universe Today page.  Now it’s time to start the carnival of space:-

  • Discovery images of Neptune Trojan 2008 LC18Congratulations to Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo for identifying the first known L5 Trojan asteroid of Neptune! This story is not just interesting because it is a first-of-its-kind discovery, but because of the tricky way that the astronomers went about searching for it, and because of the collateral benefits that their search will have for the New Horizons mission.

Emily Lakdawalla at Planetary Blog has explained about the discovery of  Trojan Asteroid[and yeah, Trojan Asteroid itself too] with animation showing how this excelling discovery was made.

What? You can’t believe..? Dr. Ian O’Neill of Discovery Space has a stunning article delving much into the topic with high resolution images of moon obtained from LRO.

  • Interesting fact of the day: examining the fossil record suggests that mass extinctions on Earth occur approximately once every 26 million years (Myr). One possible explanation for this is a companion dwarf  star to the Sun on a 26 Myr orbit.

Emma at We Are All in The Gutter Blog, is seeking out the connections between mass exinction and so called Nemesis, a dwarf star based on a newly published research paper.

  • Steve Nerlich at Cheap Astronomy investigates the likelihood of Robonaut 2  refusing to open the pod bay door after it’s deployed on the ISS.
  • This is the light speed limit, which makes us too shy whenever we plan for a interstellar human mission. We can’t ignore the laws of special relativity, but we can still change the speed of  light.

Chris Dann of WeirdWarp Blog is elucidating whether it is plausible?

  • Wayne Hall at Kentucky Space is telling that the second Kentucky Space-built plug-and-play micro-G research rack will be turned up on ISS  Monday.
  • Jupiter’s moon IO is quite fascinating if you are talking about the possibility of exotic life. Jason Perry of Gish Bar Times, is exposing IO’s true colors based on datas obtained from Galileo. A well researched article!
  • Our universe is very mysterious. Astronomers are constantly looking into the past. No matter where you look out into space you are seeing things as they were minutes, hours or millions of years ago. Even at 186,000 miles per second, it takes eight minutes for light to reach us from the Sun. It takes four and a half years for light to reach us from the next nearest star, and millions or billions of years to reach us from other galaxies. So astronomers spend a great deal of time looking into the past.

Mike Somonsen of  Simostronomy Blog is focusing over future surveys to solve the mystery of universe. Really, an excellent article..!!

Alen VerseFeld of The Urban Astronomer blog has a entry featuring stunning discoveries made by LRO missions.

A ceiling full of sky, a beautiful historical  ceiling with an astronomical theme by Ian Musgrave and Peta O’Donohue of Astroblogger blog.

Daniel Sims of  Space Tweep Society Blog has a article providing more information about that contest. If you are interested in contest, please participate in it.

  • Bruce Irving of FlyingSinger blog is talking about Apollo 13 mission.
  • If, at first glance, the preceding account appears fanciful, it is because our thinking has not caught up with the engineering advances of the last few years. . .All the engines are either being developed or are programmed to be developed in the next few years. No new or exotic fuels are required. Indeed, our calculations reflect the sober degree of conservatism that should characterize a preliminary study. We believe that the feasibility has been shown. There remains now the intriguing task of doing the job.

David S.F. Portree of  BeyondApollo has a excellent article about Rosen and Schwenk’s moon mission.

Below are the two articles from Stuart Atkinson

Pradeep Mohandas of Parallel Spirals blog has a article  First anniversary of the Chandrayaan-I – LRO Bistatic Experiment today ,explaining more about that.

See the article by Paul Sutherland of SKYMANIA blog.


Future Energy Debate Version Of Carnival Of Space #151

Welcome to WeirdSciences and future energy debate version of carnival of space #151. If you have no idea, what a carnival of space is, take a quick guide to it at UniverseToday. As title states this is future energy debate version of carnival of space. So, before starting carnival of space, I would like to introduce future energy debate in few lines. I have reviewed some problems involved with accepting Uranium as a future energy source, which are discussed here. Next Big Future described it as:

1. too much energy to mill lower grades of uranium ore. No net energy for low grades. 100 parts per million.
2. critics point out that uranium is an abundant element; there is plenty of it in the earth’s crust and in seawater. But in both cases the energy needed to extract it would be more than could ever be recovered.
3. there is the argument that we could use uranium more efficiently by developing breeder reactors, which would be 100 times as efficient as today’s thermal reactors. But after 50 years of extremely expensive research, they are still not technically feasible.

Next Big Future presented counter argues:

  • The Rossing mine has a lower Uranium concentration (0.03% vs 0.05% by weight) than Olympic Dam and the discrepancy is even larger in the case of Rossing. Here SLS (Storm Van Leeuwen and Smith) predict Rossing should require 2.6 Giga-Watt-Years of energy for mining and milling. The total consumption of all forms of energy in the country of Namibia is equivalent to 1.5 GigaWatt-Years, much less than the prediction for the mine alone. Furthermore, yearly cost of supplying this energy is over 1 billion dollars, yet the value of the Uranium sold by Rossing was, until recently, less than 100 million dollars per year. Since Rossing reports it’s yearly energy usage to be 0.03 GigaWatt-years, SLS overestimates the energy cost of the Rossing mine by a factor of 80.
  • Japanese plans for Uranium from Seawater would be to place the uranium collection system in the path of ocean currents. Kuroshio current moves 520,000 tons of uranium every year.
  • At a regular meeting of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) on June 2, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) reported on technology for collecting uranium from seawater. According to the two organizations, the total amount of uranium contained in seawater – as one of the 77 elements dissolved therein – measures some 4.5 billion tons, about one thousand times more than is known to exist in uranium mines. Even if Japan could collect just 0.2% of the 520,000 tons of uranium transported every year by the Japan (Kuroshio) Current that flows in the Pacific Ocean, it could easily meet its annual need of 8,000 tons.

Have a full read to both articles.

Your Carnival Of  Space #151 starts from here:

1) The Cold Spot was formed at the last-scattering.

2) The Cold Spot was formed during the photon’s path to us.

3) The Cold Spot is an instrumental artifact.

4) The Cold Spot is a data-reduction artifact.

Full article is here.

This time Carnival Of Space ends up here. Looking Forward to meet you again. I thanks to  Fraser Cain for this week’s carnival of space.  Enjoy FOLKS!!

Carnival Of Space #147

Welcome to WeirdSciences and Carnival Of Space #147 . If you have no idea, what a carnival of space is , take a quick  guide to carnival of space at UniverseToday.

First I would like  to introduce WeirdSciences. WeirdSciences is a blog talking on wide range of subjects including astrophysics, latest researches, astrobiology and some cool stuffs like ancient astronauts and aliens.

I thanks to Fraser Cain of universe today to let me host  carnival of space this week. Lets start carnival of space #147. .


  • Ian of Astroblog has

A Tour of the Exoplanets in Celestia Using the 3D space visulaization program celestia to tour the night skies as seen form selected exoplanets for you.

Phobos — The Key to the Cosmos? Just Ask Russia and China!


Dark Matter: We don’t understand everything.

Interesting post..

Carnival Of  Space #147 ENDS UP HERE. ENJOY FOLKS!! Thanks for stopping by…

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