Carnival of Space #490


So, we’ve reached the end of 2016 and, while some did very well, some are relieved that its over. For many years now, the ‘end’ of the year just seems so arbitrary. If changes were needed, changes happened around here! It is a good time to reflect though. Some companies shut down for the holidays and some places offer workers overtime or special bonuses for a job well done. It’s a good time to dust off the calendar and think about the coming year like the potential of a crisp, new fallen snowy day; that gliteryness just waiting to be sullied.

Welcome the return of longer days and the New Year! Focus on the good and your accomplishments in 2016 while you read the awesome offerings from our Carnival participants below!

On with the show!

2016 Guide to Astronomy Discoveries

Zain Husain | Brown Space Man

I try and keep up with the latest astronomy discoveries and still have a hard time catching everything. 2016 has been nothing short of exciting and has left me in awe on more than one occasion. So here’s a list of all the space science discoveries made in 2016. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back as it’ll be updated until…

R.I.P. Dr. Vera Rubin
C.C. Peterson | TheSpacewriter’s Ramblings

A remembrance for Dr. Vera Rubin

Losing our Heroes
C.C. Peterson | TheSpacewriter’s Ramblings

Further thoughts about losing our heroes.

NGC 6357: Cosmic ‘Winter’ Wonderland
Megan Watzke | Chandra X-Ray Observatory Blog

Although there are no seasons in space, this cosmic vista invokes thoughts of a frosty winter landscape. It is, in fact, a region called NGC 6357 where radiation from hot, young stars is energizing the cooler gas in the cloud that surrounds them.

This composite image contains X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ROSAT telescope (purple), infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (orange), and optical data from the…

Curiosity Continues Journey After Drill Problems, Finishes Another Year of Scientific Discovery
Paul Scott Anderson | Planetaria

The Curiosity rover has now resumed its journey toward Mount Sharp after experiencing some delays due to a faulty drill mechanism. The rover conducted a short drive over the past weekend toward a new location with “plenty of science targets to choose from.” Being on the road again is of course a relief to mission engineers and scientists, although the problems with the drill are still being diagnosed. As has come to be expected, Curiosity again made some exciting science observations in 2016, which continue to show that this region on Mars was once a lot more habitable in the ancient past, and perhaps…

Spacex Shows a Falcon Heavy at the Rocket Factory

Brian Wang | The Next Big Future

Spacex shows off Falcon Heavy at the rocket factory, Launch is targeted for early in 2017

CBS Star Trek Discovery Likely Set in Four Year Klingon War in Prime Timeline and Cast is Revealed
Brian Wang | The Next Big Future

Star Trek: Discovery is an upcoming American television series created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman for CBS All Access. It is the first series developed specifically for that service, and the first Star Trek series since Star Trek: Enterprise concluded in 2005. Set roughly a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series, separate from the timeline of the concurrent feature films, Discovery explores a previously mentioned event from the history of Star Trek while following…

Cooling by Radiating Heat Into Space
Brian Wang | The Next Big Future

Physicists have achieved record levels of temperature reduction using the process of radiative cooling, by which heat is beamed from Earth’s surface into outer space. Zhen Chen and his colleagues at Stanford University lowered the temperature of a thermal emitter – a device designed to give out more heat than it takes in – to 42.2 °C below that of the surrounding air

China Plans Space Missions to Dark Side of the Moon and Mars and Beyond
Brian Wang | The Next Big Future

China’s ambitious and fast-growing space program is targeting a landing on the dark side of the moon by 2018, and reaching Mars before the end of the decade.

Jerry Pournelle Talks About China’s Orbital Tests of the EMDrive as a Bigger than Sputnik Moment
Brian Wang | The Next Big Future

Jerry Pournelle is a famed science fiction author who also had an interesting technology career. Jerry Pournelle talks about China’s orbital tests of the EMDrive as a bigger than Sputnik moment. Jerry says, the question becomes, given the magnitude of this, why is it a surprise? We have 21 expensive intelligence agencies; not one of them knew the Chinese orbited an EM Drive? Of course it will be a while before we can do orbital tests. We have no rockets. That’s preparedness. Perhaps Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos can help? This is a signal larger than Sputnik. If the Intelligence Community knows about Russian hacking, why doesn’t it know about Chinese testing of a reactionless drive?

NASA Might Build an Ice House on Mars
Nancy Atkinson | Universe Today

At first glance, a new concept for a NASA habitat on Mars looks like a cross between Mark Watney’s inflatable potato farm from “The Martian” and the home of Luke’s Uncle Owen on Tatooine from “Star Wars.”

The key to the new design relies on something that may or may not be abundant on Mars: underground water or ice.

The “Mars Ice Home” is a large inflatable dome that is surrounded by a shell of water ice. NASA said the design is just one of many potential concepts for creating a sustainable home for future Martian explorers. The idea came from…

What My Dog Taught Me About Time and Space
Bob King | Universe Today

Like many of you, I’m the owner of a furry Canis Major. Her name is Sammy. We always thought she was mostly border collie, but my daughter gifted me with a doggie DNA kit a few years back, and now we know with scientific certainty that she’s a mix of German shepherd, Siberian husky and golden retriever. Yeah, she’s a mutt.

Sammy’s going on 17 years old now — that’s human years — and has neither the spunk nor bladder control of a young pup. She wanders, paces, gets confused. In her aging, I see what’s in store for all of us as we pass from one stage of life to the next.

Intentionally or not, we humans often leave a legacy before we depart. Maybe a big building, a work of art or an exemplary life. As I stare down at my panting dog, it occurs that she’s leaving a legacy too…

Picking Fights With a Flat-Earther
Allen Versfeld | Urban Astronomer

The Flat-Earth Society has been around for a long time, but these days they seem to be growing dramatically, making a big loud splash on YouTube and social media. Urban Astronomer offers a few ideas on how to engage these people, who try so hard to avoid rational explanations, and asks whether it’s even worth the effort.

And there’s your Carnival! You gotta’ read the article about the dog. That’s just wonderful!

Thanks to all the contributors, I really appreciate all your hard work and additions to this Carnival. Please watch for Carnival of Space #491, hosted by Stefan Lamoureux over at Links Through Space on or about January 6th!

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