Carnival of Space #245

It’s time for another Carnival of Space! There are some really interesting stories this week from a cosmos that isn’t slowing down.

Today’s fun Vintage Space images shows John Glenn entering the Astro-Penthouse. It was less sexy that you’d think. This was where the astronauts trained on the gimbaling rig in the altitude wind tunnel at NASA’s Lewis Research Centre. 1960.

Discovery News starts things off with a big question: could the foundations for life have been spread amongst the sun’s siblings like “cosmic chicken pox” 4.5 billion years ago? The thought gives a whole new meaning to the idea that we are all star stuff.

Speaking of what space does for us directly, Astrowow asks what long distance calls have to do with the center of the galaxy. The short and cryptic answer is “Jansky,” and it’s also the astronomy word of the week.

Chandra Blog brings us the discovery Of the Musket Ball Cluster, a collision between two galaxy clusters so violent that so-called normal matter has been wrenched apart from dark matter.

Starry Critters goes deep into space this week, zooming into the merging galaxy cluster Abell 520 with a composite image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Chandra X-ray Observatory and Canada-France Hawaii Telescope are certainly changing the way astronomers think dark matter interacts in some of the largest structures in the Universe.

And you can zoom, too! Starry Critters allows you to get up close and personal with a explorable image of the popular giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A in a far-infrared image from the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory.

Our last article this week about deep space come from 21st Century Waves with an update on Kepler’s exoplanetary findings and the realization that Earth-like planets are rare.

Moving closer to home, the Meridiani Journal brings us some interesting news about Saturn’s moon Titan. A new study shows that the lakes and seas on Titan are typically very smooth with less wave activity than those on Earth.

This summer, lucky viewers will get a chance to witness the Transit of Venus as the second planet passes in front of the Sun. The Venus Transit gives us a guide on how to safely observe the sun during the transit.

Bringing astronomy down to Earth, Chandra Blog brings us an interview with astronomer Will Dawson.

Next Big Future brings tells us about some really interesting concepts in the realm of space technology. First, a look at space-based Solar Power. A Navy Research Lab study into possible defense applications and opportunities looks at the details of a solar powered forward operating base.

And putting solar power into action, NBF tells us about Artemis Innovation Management Solutions’ solar powered satellite that was selected for a NASA NIAC award. Heralded as the first practical solar satellite, a preliminary schedule targets getting a 1.2 gigawatt system up by 2024.

Speaking of getting things into space, NBF gives us the details on a proposed Fission Fragment Rocket Engine (FFRE) Propelled Spacecraft that could generate more thrust for a longer timeframe than anything else currently under development.

Finally from NBF, John Slough could have an imploding linear experiment ready this year with future applications to space propulsion systems for longer duration missions to Mars.

Right here on Earth, Links Through Space lets us follow an astronomy club traveling through Spain visiting sites astronomical landmarks through astrophotos and stories about Spanish Astronomy.

Thinking about the future of our own planet, Universe Today brings us climatologist Michael Mann’s take on the letter sent to NASA by former astronauts and employees decrying the space agency’s stance on climate change. Mann calls the group’s actions an old ‘climate change denial’ ploy, an attempt to “cobble together a small group of individuals and make it sound like they speak with authority on a matter  that they have really not studied closely.”

And finally, Adventures in Spacetime looks at a past that never was on our planet. In 1992 a full scale Starship Enterprise was nearly built in Las Vegas. The NCC-1701A mockup would have been 1000 feet long.

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