Carnival of Space #362

Welcome to the Carnival of Space #362!  Everyday Spacer is pleased to host yet another anthology of blog articles by Carnival of Space members.  You can be part of the CoS too.  Visit that page for details.

On With the Show!

A New Image of Europa Emerges
Jason Major | Universe Today

The picture above, showing the icy moon’s creased and cracked surface, was made from images acquired by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft during its exploration of Jupiter and its family of moons in 1997 and 1998. While the data itself isn’t new per se the view seen here has never been released by JPL, and so it’s new to you! (And to me too.)

Name ExoWorlds, an IAU Worldwide Contest to Name Alien Planets, Continues Controversy
Shannon Hall | Universe Today

The International Astronomical Union has unveiled a worldwide contest, NameExoWorlds, which gives the public a role in naming planets and their host stars beyond the solar system.

Tell Me a Story… on Asteroids
StarStryder | CosmoQuest

CosmoQuest and 365 Days of Astronomy are running a short story contest. Have a story you want to submit? Deadline is August 15.

Comet, Ahoy!
Nicole Gugliucci | CosmoQuest

Rosetta gets its first resolved images of its target comet.

Nanda Rea Wins Award for Solving a Magnetic Mystery
Megan Watzke | Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Last week, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) announced the awards that will be presented at their upcoming meeting in August in Moscow. One of the winners of the Yakov B. Zeldovich Medals — a joint award of COSPAR and the Russian Academy of Sciences conferred on young scientists for excellence and achievements – will go to…

Galactic Pyrotechnics On Display
Chandra X-Ray Observatory

A galaxy about 23 million light years away is the site of impressive, ongoing, fireworks. Rather than paper, powder, and fire, this galactic light show involves a giant black hole, shock waves, and vast reservoirs of gas.

This galactic fireworks display is taking place in NGC 4258 (also known as M106), a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. This galaxy is famous, however, for something that our Galaxy doesn’t have – two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical, and radio light. These features, or anomalous arms, are not aligned with the plane of the galaxy, but instead…

Steve Shurtleff | Photos to Space

OCO-2> Why monitor CO2 levels in the atmosphere? Photos To Space takes a quick look at what the new OCO-2 mission means to life on Earth.

Perfecting Venus Atmospheric Colonies and Using Venus Resources to Make Cloud Cities
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

At about 50 kilometers (30 mies) altitude, the atmospheric density on Venus is close to “sea level” density on Earth, and temperatures are basically Mediterranean, you get plenty of sunlight, and the CO2 atmosphere is sufficiently denser than air on earth that a breathable air mix provides about half the buoyancy on Venus as Helium does on Earth. Basically, at 50km you could build multiple-km-scale flying cities that would be extremely roomy since more air space means you can support more mass. Or in other words, Lando Calrissian, eat your heart out.

Sure you can make a super large city like that float in the Venusian atmosphere, how do you get it there in the first place? There’s also the question of why you’d want to, but I want to focus this series on how you might build your castles in the sky. What I’d like to suggest in this blog post series is that the Venusian atmosphere may provide most of the raw materials needed to build such flying cities using in-situ resources, and many of those resources may be readily extractable.

For Mars, Venus, and other planetary environments that have atmospheres, the atmosphere itself can provide a feedstock for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Both atmospheres have a mix of…

A Roadmap to Colonizing Venus – M0aking Concrete, Plastics, Water, Fuel and Cooking Food
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Selenian Boondocks had developed a roadmap for the phases for proving out ISRU Venus Resources.

Phase 0–Terrestrial Analog ISRU Prototyping: This is where we’re at now. As far as I know there has been almost no experimental development of the sort that some of our commenter have suggested which would use simulated Venusian atmosphere to attempt various approaches for extracting the different constituents for further processing. .

Phase 1–Venus In-Situ Demonstration: The first real Venus ISRU development phase will likely be in the form of small experiments mounted on robotic atmospheric balloons. We’re likely talking about…

NASA Finds Friction from Tides Could Help Distant Earths Survive, and Thrive
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Computer modeling by NASA scientists shows that friction could be the key to survival for some distant Earth-sized planets traveling in dangerous orbits.

The findings are consistent with observations that Earth-sized planets appear to be very common in other star systems. Although heat can be a destructive force for some planets, the right amount of friction, and therefore heat, can be helpful and perhaps create conditions for habitability.

“We found some unexpected good news for planets in vulnerable orbits,” said Wade Henning, a University of Maryland scientist working at NASA’s…

What Lies Within an Asteroid
Alan Versfeld | Urban Astronomer

A novel study of navigational data from the Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission has revealed a surprising complexity in asteroid Itokawa’s internal structure.

Distributed Rocket Science is a Thing Now
Mika McKinnon | i09 Space

The ISEE-3 reboot project ran into a problem, so asked the internet for help. Within two hours, experts had emerged with just the right pieces of esoteric knowledge.

Declassified Memos Debate Naming the Shuttle “Enterprise”
Mika McKinnon | i09

NASA and Star Trek have a long and positive history together. But the decision to name the original test space shuttle “Enterprise” was a long debate, revealed in these recently-declassified memos.

Titan’s Hidden Ocean Might be as Salty as the Dead Sea
Paul Scott Anderson | The Meridiani Journal

Saturn’s moon Titan is known for its methane seas, lakes, and rivers; surprisingly Earth-like in appearance yet distinctly alien at the same time. But there is also evidence for another ocean, this one of water, below the surface. Little is known about this hidden watery world, but now new results suggest it is likely very salty – as much as the Dead Sea on Earth.

The new results come from the study of data sent back by the Cassini spacecraft, which is still orbiting Saturn. They were published last week in the journal Icarus. Cassini obtained new information about Titan’s interior using gravity and…

New Study Shows How Salts Could Make Liquid Water on Mars
Paul Scott Anderson | The Meridiani Journal

The search for evidence of water on Mars, past or present, has been one of the driving forces behind the exploration of the Red Planet for several decades now. While orbiters, landers, and rovers have all found abundant evidence for a lot of water in Mars’ ancient history, the question of whether there could still be any of the wet stuff existing today is still open and unanswered. There are hints, but proof is still elusive. Now, a new study provides…

We’ll watch for stragglers for you so do visit again before CoS #363 on Friday July 18th hosted by Chandra X-Ray.

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