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July 26, 2010

Carnival of Space 164 - solar sails and earth sized exoplanets and a new biggest star

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Update for a missed submission:
Cheap Astronomy presents the second of its epic two part podcast series on stellar archaeology.

1. Centauri Dreams sends "The Solar Sail in Context":

This is one of four pieces I wrote this past week covering one aspect or another of the Second International Symposium on Solar Sailing, which wrapped up on Thursday in Brooklyn. One intriguing presentation that I cover here has to do with the use of solar sails as hybrid technologies in a future fusion mission.

2. 21st Century waves has several points of view about the legacy of Apollo and President Obama's new space policy

President Obama’s space policy has “polarized” the space community like never before. It has resulted in three particularly interesting types of responses: strategic, commercial, and political. We’ll take a peek at all three and highlight their limitations in the context of the long-term, fundamental drivers of human expansion into the cosmos.


3. From collectspace the 60th anniversary of Bumper 8's historic flight will take place today at the Florida launching pad.

Sixty years ago on Saturday morning, a 62-foot rocket stood ready to launch from the east coast of Florida, destined to make history -- not so much for where it was going, but for where it was departing.

Bumper 8, a two-stage vehicle built from a U.S.-modified, World War II-captured German V-2 missile and a sounding rocket upper-stage, became the first to liftoff from what is now known as Cape Canaveral.

A ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of Bumper 8's historic flight will take place today at the Florida launching pad.


4. From the Lunar and Planetary institute an jupdated version of the Lunar Sample Atlas.

Thanks to many folks, over 5200 thin-section views have been add to the collection. This brings the image total to over 28,500 with more to come.

5. From the Chandra blog - The openFITS project represents a step towards removing some of the mystery surrounding image processing of the X-ray data from the Chandra Observatory.

Here's a new post from Beyond Apollo tied loosely to the Mariner IV 45th anniversary

6. From Simostronomy - When is a supernova not a supernova?

7. The Urban astronomer looks at the Sun.

8. The Gishbar Times looks at Observing Active Volcanic Eruptions Remotely.

"The thermal signature of volcanic eruptions on Io and Earth." The authors for this paper are Ashley Davies (pictured at right with the nice manly man-beard), Laszlo Kestay (formerly Keszthelyi), and Andrew Harris.


9. Weirdwarp looks at extremophiles on other celestial bodies

10. Weird Sciences looks at new silicon nanowires that could make photovoltaic devices more efficient

11. Weird Sciences looks at wormhole engineering with gravity modification and modifying the casimir effect

12. We are all in the gutter looks at when stars do not work, Brown dwarf stars and what makes Jupiter Blue


13. NASA Hubble Top Star award-winning Starry Critters finishes up an interesting view of a starry alphabet -


14. Planet bye looks at a very large star.


15. Cumbrian sky looks at the new Mars rover the Curiosity.
Yesterday was a huge day for NASA, especially the men and women at JPL in California, because it was the day marked for the next rover to go to Mars, called “Curiosity”, to take her first steps since having her wheels fitted. And the whole thing was shown live, online, for space enthusiasts around the world to enjoy!


16. From Nextbigfuture, a new exoplanet distribution has been discovered by the Kepler space telescope. It is weighted towards smaller earthlike planets. The expectation is to find 60 habitable worlds in the kepler 500 light year mission observation area of the telescope. There is a new estimate of 100 million habitable worlds in the milky way.

Some may feel negative about this. What about Fermi Paradox? If there are so many habitable worlds then why haven't some of them had aliens come visit us.

I say get we need to follow up with really powerful space telescope arrays and look at those planets in detail. Image them directly at 10 meter resolution or better. We can speculate less and stop guessing and find out more.

17. A new research paper looks at the details of the planet distribution from the Kepler telescope data.



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