1. Weirdwarp is on about one moon of Pluto that has been named Vulcan. This was proposed, appropriately, by William Shatner from Star Trek. The votes were taken online allowing the public to vote. The two moons without a name were boringly called P4 and P5.
There are five moons around Pluto the other three being called Charon, Nix and Hydra. P4 safe was discovered in 2011 and P5 in 2012 and both about 20 miles in diameter.
2. Its the year of Comets, and we thought it would be "all eyes on ISON", but another comet is starting to spark some interest - Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring). Astroswanny gives us some more background on this comet that is going to give the mission controllers for NASA's MAVEN mission to explore the atmosphere of Mars a few headaches.
3. Inspiration Mars: manned flyby mission planned for 2018
Nextbigfuture covered the technical paper for the Inspiration Mars mission and the plan to send a middle aged couple.
The Mars mission would be a $1 to 2 billion plan
4. Fraknoi recommends three articles for interesting reading:
1. Clyde Tombaugh writing up in his own words how he discovered Pluto;
2. A discussion of astronomy in the Harry Potter novels; and
3. Frank Drake (the father of the modern science of SETI) discussing how he came up with the Drake Equation for estimating the number of possible intelligent civilizations in the Galaxy.
5. Urban Astronomer - The ESA's Venus Explorer, having previously found the venusian landscape dotted with recently formed volcanoes, has now found atmospheric evidence which suggests that those volcanoes could be active
6. Linksthroughspace - Finnish Astronomy Club reporting activities in Southern Finland. With clouds clouding almost all the space community of the Carnival of space these last weeks, Our Astronomy club Toutatis took a chance and went for a field trip. This time we visited the Ruins of Kuusisto Castle near the city of Kaarina, Finland. Watch our event in photos HERE.
7. Nextbigfuture - Spacex had another launch of the Falcon 9. There were some initial problems with the thrusters but those were repaired.
8. Centauri Dreams covered the Icarus Project and the 10 projects that they have to develop plans for interstellar travel (from nuclear fusion spaceships to power beaming to worldships.)
9. Nextbigfuture - there was deep radio observations of the nearby Neptune-mass extrasolar transiting planet HAT-P-11b at 150 MHz, using the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT). On July 16, 2009, we detected a 3σ 150 mhz radio emission.
10. Astroblogger - As the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 is refined, it's orbit moves in closer to Mars, but will it hit?
11. Astroblogger - Watching comet L4 PanSTARRS in the evening twilight (with animation)
12. Astroblogger - How to find comet PanSTARRS in the southern sky.
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