Lots of varied articles this week including black holes, nuclear rockets, beam propulsion and quasars.
One of the lowest mass black holes ever observed in the middle of a galaxy has been identified. By the Chandra Blog.
Who would sign up for a 40-year journey, especially if it turned out to be a one-way trip? Thoughts on interstellar crews and how to find them from Centauri Dreams.
Tranquility Base Blog – Answering the question, how do we communicate with the Voyager spacecraft? And the question of how we communicate with Curiosity on Mars?
Nextbigfuture – A summary of adam crowls examination of nuclear rockets and beam propulsion for interstellar travel.
The Annual Astronomy Reunion was held in Ahlainen, Finland a little village on the Baltic sea. These 2 days of retreat permitted the people attending to reflect on the year that had past in the astronomy club. Read more on Links Through Space.
Astronomers at Arizona State University have discovered one of the most distant (and dusty) quasars in the Universe. Ray Sanders at Dear Astronomer offers coverage on the discovery.
Nextbigfuture – With 20 years notice, a volley or two of space-launched paintballs could deflect an asteroid. Sung Wook Paek, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, says if timed just right, pellets full of paint powder, launched in two rounds from a spacecraft at relatively close distance, would cover the front and back of an asteroid, more than doubling its reflectivity, or albedo. The initial force from the pellets would bump an asteroid off course; over time, the sun’s photons would deflect the asteroid even more.
Archive posts from Carnival of space 272
Astroblogger has reflections (and a celestia file) on the recent Earth-sized planet found around Alpha Centauri B.
CosmoQuest hits one million total craters between the Moon and asteroid Vesta.What are the fruits of this citizen science labor of love?
The Nextbigfuture talks about Keck observations that reveal more details of Uranus than even the Voyager flyby in 1986, European astronomers that have discovered a planet with about the mass of the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system — the nearest to Earth. It is also the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a star like the Sun. The planet was detected using the HARPS instrument on the 3.6-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The results will appear online in the journal Nature on 17 October 2012.
Sung Wook Paek, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, says if timed just right, pellets full of paint powder, launched in two rounds from a spacecraft at relatively close distance, would cover the front and back of an asteroid, more than doubling its reflectivity, or albedo. The initial force from the pellets would bump an asteroid off course; over time, the sun’s photons would deflect the asteroid even more.”
Also Researchers that presented infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry analyses of Apollo samples that reveal the presence of significant amounts of hydroxyl inside glasses formed in the lunar regolith by micrometeorite impacts. Lunar regolith is everywhere on the lunar surface, and glasses make up about half of lunar regolith. Finding hydroxl in the glass means that a huge amount of material that could be turned into water on the moon. Spacex is developing a new more powerful engine that will enable a rocket to take 200 tons of payload to low earth orbit. Musk said the new rocket, which he calls MCT, will be “several times” as powerful as the 1 Merlin series, and won’t use Merlin’s RP-1 fuel. Beyond adding that it will have “a very big core size”, he declined to elaborate, promising more details in “between one and three years”.
One last one from the next big future is about the NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partner Blue Origin has successfully fired the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine. As part of Blue’s Reusable Booster System (RBS), the engines are designed eventually to launch the biconic-shaped Space Vehicle the company is developing. Blue Origin is a reusable rocket being developed by Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon.
The NH National Guard Child and Youth Program and NHNG Military Education Outreach Committee were proud to present a pilot science event with the Chandra Education & Outreach Group on October 14, 2012 in Concord, New Hampshire. Brought to you by the Chandra blog
Cheap Astronomy presents a podcast on the Hubble Servicing Missions and the expected future for the telescope.
Say hello to our nearest neighbor! Although there is not likely to be anyone living on this hot rock, it is the closest earth sized planet that will ever be found – say again – well it does orbits our closest star Alpha Centauri B. The only thing that could top this, would be a similar sized planet a little further out in the habitable zone – who knows, maybe its out there too. An Aartscope production.
Meridani Journal talks about astronomers that have discovered an Earth-mass planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, one of the stars in the Alpha Centauri triple-star system, the closest stars to our Sun.
While I’ll readily admit Felix Baumgartner’s high altitude sky dive was awesome to watch, I’d argue it was a missed opportunity to teach a huge audience a thing or two about science. From amyshirateitel.com.
The Tranquillity Base blog describes a time during the Cold War, did the U.S. or the Soviet Union ever launch an armed spacecraft? And, have there been any weapons in space since the cold war ended?
Links Through Space blog shows us an Encounter with an Unidentified Flying Object in Southern Finland. The bright light and the irregular pace of the craft caught the attention. Read more on Links Through Space here.