Carnival of Space #223

It’s been a busy week for space blogs, so we’ve got a packed Carnival of Space. Let’s look at what’s been going on in my favourite way: starting from way out in deep space and coming all the way back home to Earth. (Fun vintage space picture of the day: the Apollo 1 crew relaxes in a pool during egress training. That looks like a fun day at work!)

ZME Science starts us off with the near-beginning of the universe. Elemental gas clouds that formed minutes after the Big Bang have been found.

Chandra Blog gives us a look at the star-forming region, 30 Doradus. It’s one of the largest such regions located close to the Milky Way and is found in the neighboring galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud.

From forming stars to formed stars, Dear Astronomer gives us a brief explanation of Pulsars – what they are, and why astronomers study them.

And speaking of stars far from our own, The Next Big Future tells us that not only have we detected hundreds of exoplanets (planets around other stars), but we will soon be detecting exomoons.

Maybe we won’t be travelling to exoplanets and exomoons anytime soon, but we will keep going into space. The Next Big Future also shares some of the latest news on means of space travel. In rocketry, Spacex has invested over $500 million into their rocket development and the US government has put in $300 million. As for vehicles, TNBF gives us an update on the Skylon spaceplane and tests of its enabling heat exchanger and cryocooling technology.

But if we do get close enough exoplanets, we might get luck and find some form of life. Weird Warp offers us a one-off book review of alien contact stories. One dollar from the sale of each (very reasonably priced) book goes towards the search for extra terrestrial intelligence, SETI. The official line for the book: “In the farthest reaches of the universe, in places our eyes have yet to behold, lurks the unknown. We search for life that we have dubbed ‘alien’ in hopes of making contact and bettering our existence through alliances with life forms from other worlds. Are they out there? Do they know we exist?”

Coming back to Earth and the life we know exists here, Universe Today tells us about a neat theory of a fifth gas giant that might have been present in, then expelled from, our early solar system. If so, was its expulsion from the solar system essential to Earth’s cozy orbit?

While some may speculate about our long lost planetary neighbour, our current neighbour is interesting as ever. The Meridiani Journal tell us about Opportunity latest as the rover investigates unusual rock ‘veins’ on Mars.

From Planets to astroids, Astroswanny shared a video of the 2005 YU55  near-Earth pass.

But asteroids are the only thing near enough to Earth to pose some threat. Space junk is out there, polluting our orbit. The Urban Astronomer proposes an interesting solution to deal with orbiting space junk: zap it with lasers! Pew pew!

From near Earth to Earth, Cheap Astronomy shares a podcast on Indigenous Australian astronomy.

Staying with astronomy but going back in time, One Minute Astronomer shares with us a Q&A with author Dava Sobel about her new biography of Nicholas Copernicus entitled “A More Perfect Heaven.”

Finally, Beyond Apollo rounds us out with a bit of history. As NASA astronauts began taking their first steps in space – literally, making spacewalks – the Gemini Program Office established the Gemini Extravehicular Planning Group (GEPG) to revise and finalize EVA objectives for the remainder of the program.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!

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