Carnival of Space #472

Welcome to the Carnival of Space #472! If you are here for the first time, welcome and feast your eyes on articles from members of the Carnival below. If you are returning, thank you for coming back; we want to help you learn all that you can about the great mystery of space and explorers of space. If you’d like to be in the Carnival, by all means, visit this page (click to transport yourself there) and get what you need to do that as well as seeing the list of some of the other revelers.

After that, it’s On With the Show!

Why Haven’t We Found Any Aliens Yet?
Andrew Fain | Universe Today

After nearly 60 years of searching without success, a growing list of scientists believe life on Earth only came about because of a lucky series of evolutionary accidents, a long list of improbable events that just happened to come together at the right time and will never be…

Earth-Like Planet Around Proxima Centauri Discovered
Matt Williams | Universe Today

But in what may prove to be the most exciting find to date, the German weekly Der Spiegel announced recently that astronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, just 4.25 light-years away. Yes, in what is an apparent trifecta, this newly-discovered exoplanet is Earth-like, orbits within its sun’s habitable zone, and is within…

Did Cirrus Clouds Help Keep Early Mars Warm & Wet?
Evan Gough | Universe Today

Some studies show that these features have volcanic origins, but a new study from two researchers at the Carl Sagan Institute and the NASA Virtual Planet Laboratory put the focus back on liquid water. The model that the two came up with says that, if other conditions were met, cirrus clouds could have provided the necessary insulation for liquid water to…

Niku: A ‘Rebellious’ Trans-Neptunian Object
Paul Gilster | Centauri Dreams

The newly discovered trans-Neptunian object called Niku may have much to tell us about things lurking in the outer regions of our Solar System. But Niku does not validate Planet Nine. The question remains: What is causing the apparent clustering of certain…

Supernova Ejected from the Pages of History
Megan Watzke, CXC | Chandra X-Ray Observatory Blog

Historical supernovas and their remnants can be tied to both current astronomical observations as well as historical records of the event. Since it can be difficult to determine from present observations of their remnant exactly when a supernova occurred, historical supernovas provide important information on stellar timelines. Stellar debris can tell us a great deal about…

THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 1/7 Instruments: NASA’s spacecraft STEREO. Predicting the Sun’s activities. 2006AD
Stefan Lamoureux | Links Through Space

Here at Links through Space we introduce a series of 7 articles on the Age of Astronomy. This series focuses on tangible evidence that establishes the age of Astronomy.

Follow Astronomy Club Toutatis’s Ancient Astronomy Series: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. Read the posts and find out the true age of astronomy. THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 1/7 Instruments: NASA’s spacecraft STEREO. Predicting the Sun’s activities. 2006AD

White Dwarf Star Nova Caught in the Act Which Occurs Every 10,000 to 1 Million Years
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

A team of researchers affiliated with the Warsaw University Observatory has captured for the first time the events that led to a classical nova exploding, the explosion itself and then what happened afterwards. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they happened to capture the star activity and why they believe it may help bolster the theory of star hibernation.

In this type of binary system, a white dwarf sucks gas from a much bigger partner star until it blows up – about every 10,000 to one million years.

The consistent stream of images snapped for that project, the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, allowed the researchers to go back and see what the star system looked like before the explosion brought it to their attention in May 2009.

Even though it is 20,000 light-years away – a terribly faint pinprick of light barely visible among brighter stars, even in magnified images – this was a rare opportunity to…

Spacex Plans to Use a Lot More Carbon Fiber for Lighter Rockets as Reusing Stages Justifies Higher Expenses for Better Rockets
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Spacex plans to use a lot more carbon fiber components instead of aluminum in their rockets. SpaceX aims to hold down expenses by reusing rockets and spacecraft. Originally, the company made rockets mostly out of aluminum to keep costs low, using carbon fiber only for a few parts, such as connecting joints.

Japanese materials maker Toray Industries will supply a lot of carbon fiber to SpaceX for use in the bodies of rockets and space vehicles.

The multiyear deal with Tesla founder Elon Musk’s 14-year-old venture is estimated to be worth 200 billion yen to 300 billion yen ($1.99 billion to $2.98 billion) in total. The two sides are…

Earth Like Exoplanet Found Around Proxima Centauri and it is in the Habitable Zone
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

An Earth-like planet that orbits Proxima Centauri in its habital zone has been found.

The discovery was made by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) using the La Silla Observatory‘s reflecting telescope.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) will be announcing the finding at the end of…

A Proposed Space Telescope for Quality Viewing of Earth Sized Exoplanets out to 45 Light Years and Any Object in the Observable Universe to 300 Light Year Resolution
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

The High Definition Space Telescope is a proposed space telescope that would be five times as big and 100 times as sensitive as the Hubble, with a mirror nearly 40 feet in diameter, and would orbit the sun about a million miles from Earth.

The revolutionary HDST space-based observatory would have the capability to find and study dozens of Earth-like worlds in detail.

The 10 milliarcsec resolution element of a 12 meter telescope (diffraction limited at 0.5 micron) would reach a new threshold in spatial resolution. It would be able to take an optical image or spectrum at about 100 parsec spatial resolution or better, for any observable object in…

Giant Non-Diffraction Limited Space Telescopes Could Make the 21st Century When We See the Entire Observable Universe in Substantial Detail

Brian Wang | Next Big Future

An Aragoscope could also spot some of the most fascinating places in the universe by turning its cameras at galactic nuclei, and seeing the supermassive black holes at the center of nearby galaxies in action. A version of the Aragoscope with a 1000 km (32,800-foot) disk, the Aragoscope could use the X-Ray spectrum to resolve the event horizon of black holes. That’s the kind of observational power astronomers have only dreamed of.

The Aragoscope: Ultra-High Resolution Optics at Low Cost starts from 1 hour into the video.

The goal is to create space telescopes with…

Very Large Baseline Optical Astronomy
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Large baselines will be required in the future to perform direct imaging and, in some cases, spectroscopic observations of exoplanets. Therefore, astronomers will inevitably be led to design large interferometers, even at short visible wavelengths.

If around 2020–2030 we have found a promising biomarker candidate on a nearby planet [for instance, around Proxima Centauri, such a discovery would trigger two kinds of projects:

Direct visualization of living organisms. To detect directly the shape of an organism 10 meters in length and width, a spatial resolution of…

Poetry and Black Holes
Johnathan Taylor | Chandra X-Ray Observatory Blog

I was fascinated by Chandra’s press release of 27 June 2016, ‘Clandestine Black Hole May Represent New Population.’ The very title of the press release sounds ‘poetic,’ in the idea of ‘Clandestine’ – a concealed or secretive – Black Hole; and the findings described in the press release are even more so: having concluded that “a peculiar source of radio waves thought to be a distant galaxy is actually a nearby binary star system containing a low-mass star and a black hole,” astronomers have suggested that “there may be a vast number of black holes in our Galaxy that have gone unnoticed until now …. Because this study only covered a very small patch of sky, the implication is that there should be many of these quiet black holes around the Milky Way. The estimates are that…

‘Weird object’ Discovered Beyond Neptune: A Clue in the Quest for Planet Nine?
Paul Scott Anderson | Planetaria

For the most part, the Solar System seems to be a rather well-ordered place; the planets, dwarf planets, and asteroids keep circling the Sun in regular orbits, the moons keep orbiting the planets, and so on. There are exceptions, however, such as how Uranus rotates “on its side” as compared to other planets and how Venus rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets. Now, astronomers have discovered another similar oddity, in the outer fringes of the Solar System: a small, asteroid-like object whose orbit is not only highly tilted against the orbital plane of the planets, but is also orbiting backwards compared to them. And it’s not alone. It appears to be part of…

And there’s your Carnival! Watch for the Carnival of Space #473 hosted by Brian Wang through his blog Next Big Future coming in about a week for more great articles written by regular folks with a special passion for space, science and astronomy.

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