Carnival of Space #129

Welcome to the 129th Carnival of Space!

I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to host this great showcase of space-related blog posts.

For those of you that are visiting Tiny Mantras for the first time, I’m a freelance writer and mother to a fanatical four-year-old astronomer. His interest in space has been unyielding for as long as he’s been able to talk. Therefore, I spend a lot of time reading astronomy blogs to try and become more scientifically literate, as well as riding imaginary space elevators out to Proxima Centauri and other stars in search of exoplanets. And smoothing flour and cocoa powder in a large bin so my son can throw rocks in it and make craters. Or making special trips to Big Lots to buy a bright yellow bucket for a $1 so he can keep his pretend meteor collection safe. You get the idea.

For my regular readers, I hope you’ll dig in here and learn something new about our universe. We’re entering the final weeks of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), so hurry up and get your Galileo on.

Speaking of IYA, the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope decided to honor it by combining their significant forces to create a stunning image of the core of our Milky Way galaxy. You can read more about it, find links to the image and plenty of additional info at the Chandra X-Ray Observatory blog, as well as at Dynamics of Cats.

Alan Boyle of MSNBC’s Cosmic Log calls it Triple delight in the Milky Way, with this description: “NASA has blended three views of our home galaxy’s turbulent core to produce a picture filled with scientifically significant snap, crackle and pop. And the deeper you go into the image, the more you learn.”

Boyle also sends Marvelous view … and a mystery: “Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft is making its final flyby past Earth on its way to an asteroid and a comet – a close encounter that should yield beautiful pictures of our home planet, and perhaps the answer to a cosmic mystery as well.”

If you’re preparing to do some holiday shopping for the younger set, Emily Ladkawalla of The Planetary Society Blog has reviews of several space-themed books for young children.

Mang’s Bat Page has a review of the National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky.

Nicole of One Astronomer’s Noise improvised an astronomy lesson with a group of elementary school kids by becoming a mythical creature in Unicorns and Starry Nights.

In hopes of reaching a wider community, The Lunar and Planetary Institute is putting images on flickr. First up: planetary size comparisons, such as Mars’ massive volcano Olympus Mons against the state of Wyoming, or Earth against Neptune’s great dark spot.

Next Big Future looks at the details and implications of the 100 kilograms of water ice found in the plume of the LCross crater impact.

Ian Musgrave of Astroblog has a guide to observing the Leonid meteor shower.

collectSpace gives us the scoop on a contest that NASA is holding for past and present space program workers to design a patch that will mark the end of the space shuttle era.

Weird Warp contemplates what it would be like to Take an Asteroid to the Stars and Arrive in Second Place.

Centauri Dreams sends the two-part report on the Project Icarus starship symposium, which was recently held in London: Part I & Part II. (Project Icarus is a joint effort between the British Interplanetary Society and the Tau Zero Foundation to update the classic Project Daedalus starship study of the 1970s.)

“Variable star junkie” Mike Simonsen of Simostronomy talks about documenting UGZs, weeding out impostors and other goals of The Z CamPaign.

Ian O’Neill of and Discovery News considers the possibility of tiny, man-made black holes.

Cheap Astronomy delivers part 2 of its Greenhouse Earth podcast.

Colony Worlds
n> lets us know that Off World Colonies Will Have Organ Labs (But No Organ Donors).

Kentucky Space shipped a couple of space systems recently to NASA: “one destined from Wallops and a suborbital launch to test some hardware that will be used on our orbital craft, KySat-1, and the second, a Nanorack/Cubelab combination, destined for Marshall and a Shuttle launch to the ISS. The innovative Nanoracks and Cubelab platform dramatically lowers the cost to organizations wanting to do microgravity research on the station. We’re very excited. In short, it was a great weekend and the team celebrated with an open house on the campus of the University of Kentucky.”

And lastly, Alice of Alice’s Astro Info provides an in-depth, spoilerific review of the apocalyptic, virtually science-free Hollywood disaster-thon, 2012.

If you’re interested in perusing past carnivals or submitting to one in the future, visit Universe Today for details.

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