Carnival of Space #303

It’s time for the Carnival of Space #303!

Every week, a different blogger hosts a variety of articles submitted by other ‘carnival’ members to bring you a symphony of voices in the spacer blogosphere.

Learned something new about the CoS from Steve Nerlich’s Carnival last week:

“The Carnival of Space was created in 2007 by Henry Cate of the Homeschooling Blog and who then gave it to Fraser Cain of Universe Today and now it is continued by Brian Wang of Next Big Future. If you’d like to be a host for the carnival—or contribute to it, why not send Brian an email at blwang at”

Watch for updates as submissions come in.

On with the show!

Massive Asteroid (285263) 1998 QE2 approaches at a close but safe distance
Peter Lake | AstroSwanny’s AARTScope Blog

Large asteroid (285263) 1998 QE2 approaches earth, with the media having fun with the number of cruise ship lengths it is in diameter. Astroswanny captured it from’s Siding Spring observatory.

A Hidden Population of Exotic Neutron Stars
Megan Watzke | Chandra X-Ray Observatory

The graphic shows an exotic object in our galaxy called SGR 0418+5729 (SGR 0418 for short). SGR 0418 is a magnetar, a type of neutron star that has a relatively slow spin rate and generates occasional large blasts of X-rays. This magnetar is a little unusual though. Click through to learn why

Telling Stellar Stories
Kim Arcand | Chandra X-Ray Observatory

What are digital stories and how do you tell them? At a recent exhibit at Brown University, that topic was examined in a few different ways. One of the stories shown was a large screen version of images and text selected out of the “From Earth to the Universe” (FETTU) collection. FETTU is a Chandra-led project of astronomical image exhibits that began in the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 but has remained as a legacy project of public science. The location types of the FETTU exhibits have ranged from cafes to malls to metros.

Phlogiston, Ether, Dark Matter, and Starships
FlyingSinger | Music of the Spheres

A collection of stories and articles on interstellar flight leads to thoughts of phlogiston, dark matter, and “known physics.”

Investigating Exoplanet Surfaces
Ray Sanders | Astrobiology Magazine

Recent surveys have hinted at the existence of exoplanets with rocky surfaces, making them similar to our own “terrestrial” planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. However, a number of the exoplanets thought to have rocky surfaces appear to not have any significant atmospheres.

25 Kilogram or Lighter Detectors Can Use…
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Nextbigfuture – Autonomous spacecraft navigating with pulsars is feasible when using either phased-array radio antennas of at least 150 square meter antenna area or compact light-weighted X-ray telescopes (25kg or less) and detectors, which are currently being developed for the next generation of X-ray observatories. Using the X-ray signals from millisecond pulsars we estimated that navigation would be possible with an accuracy of ±5 km in the solar system and beyond. The error is dominated by the inaccuracy of the pulse profiles templates that were used for the pulse peak fittings and pulse-TOA measurements. As pulse profiles templates are known with much higher accuracy in the radio band, it is possible to increase the accuracy of pulsar navigation down to the meter scale by using radio signals from pulsars for navigation.

Could Life Exist in Venus’ Atmosphere?
Paul Scott Anderson | The Meridiani Journal

Venus has a reputation for being one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system, and deservedly so. Its thick carbon dioxide (and acidic) atmosphere has a crushing pressure similar to that in the deepest oceans on Earth and the scorching temperature on the surface is hot enough to melt lead. It’s like that everywhere on the planet, all the time. It has therefore been considered…

Transits and Other Close Encounters
Todd | Catholic Sensibility

Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter align low in the Western sky this weekend. If your skies and horizon are clear, you can check a solar system triangle that shifts evening to evening.

Jupiter Venus and Mercury
Gadi Eidelheit | The Venus Transit

An interesting stellar conjunction is about to happen, starting from 20th of may until the 27th of May 2013. Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will be close to each other in the west, immediately after sunset.
Conjunction between two planets are very common and even between three planets are not rare. Conjunction are always…

Black Hole at Center of the Milky Way is Found to be Cooking its Dinner
Andrew Fraknoi | Exploring the Universe

New observations by a European space telescope indicate the presence of very hot gas close to the monster black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Astronomers are jokingly saying the big black hole is warming up its next meal, since streamers of gas from the inner regions fall into the “open mouth” of the black hole regularly.

Book Giveaway!
Ray Sanders | The Cosmic Ray

In conjunction with the next episode of his Astronomy/Space talk show, Ray Sanders from the “Dear Astronomer” blog is giving away FIVE copies of “Rock Star – Adventures of a Meteorite Man” by Geoff Notkin. Learn how you can win a copy at

A Week of Space Tech
Jim Plaxco | Arts Nova

A brief review of last week’s Space Tech Expo

Come back soon for more before CoS #304!

Original image source:

This entry was posted in Carnival of Space and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.