Carnival of Space 162: full-time report

 

It’s Carnival time, when we take a look at some of the topics that have caught the attention of the world’s space bloggers. In the last few days we witnessed the greatest show on Earth – no, NOT the soccer World Cup, but a more heavenly event, the total eclipse of the Sun.

Total eclipse by Mel Hulbert

Total eclipse by Mel Hulbert (Sydney Observatory)

By coincidence, the action was playing out in the skies over the South Pacific around the same time that Spain were putting the Netherlands in the shade in South Africa.

As this news blog pointed out, this was an eclipse only for those who could afford to travel. Unlike last August’s event which crossed some of the most densely populated parts of the world, totality this time occurred almost exclusively over the sea.

The inaccessability of the eclipse may explain why there were precious few post-event reports from bloggers – but Sydney Observatory’s eclipse chaser Mel Hulbert managed to file some photos from remote Easter Island for their blog before crashing out after 24 hours without sleep.

Another event in the premier league of astronomical happenings was a long-scheduled fixture between the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe and an asteroid called Lutetia. Cumbrian Sky’s Stuart Atkinson gave us a thrilling account of their brief encounter.

Carolyn Collins Peterson waxed lyrical about the successful rendezvous too at The Space Writer’s Ramblings, including the remarkable combined view of Lutetia and a distant Saturn.

Over at A Babe In The Universe, Louise Riofrio showed us how Jupiter, Earth and Venus would appear in the dawn sky from Mars at NASA rover Spirit’s location in Gusev Crater.

Still with NASA, Robert Pearlman has a report with pictures for Collect Space of the roll-out of the giant fuel tank – complete with New Orleans brass band – for the final space shuttle flight scheduled for next year.

And David Portree looks back at how, a year before the first manned Moon landing, engineers were planning a series of small space stations at Beyond Apollo.

Paul D Spudis at The Once and Future Moon reminded us that we still have much to earn about our natural satellite. He described how we have yet to find a sample of rock from deep beneath its surface in Searching for the Moon’s Mantle.

Lunar enthusiasts within reach of Dallas, Texas, can look forward to a special Moon Day on Sunday, July 18. Ken Murphy describes final preparations for Moon Day at Out of the Cradle.

And talking of moons, we recently had our sharpest-ever view of one of Saturn’s smaller satellites, Daphnis, caught in a gap between rings, as Emily Lakdawalla reported at the Planetary Society Blog.

Mike Simonsen gave us a first-hand insight into how amateur astronomers help check each other’s exciting discoveries in a report of his confirmation of a supernova on the Simostronomy blog. Meanwhile the professionals were highlighting a discovery of their own – a microquasar in another faraway galaxy – in the Chandra Blog.

Steve Nerlich ponders on the nature of empty space in his Much Ado About Nothing podcast at Cheap Astronomy. And anyone hoping to listen in to E.T. will be interested, if a little disappointed, to read Paul Gilster’s report on the odds against hearing from aliens at Centauri Dreams.

As the final whistle blows, that is it for this time on how the top teams in blogging have been performing on the space pitch. Skymania is delighted to have played host. Look out for an exciting new match report from another blog host soon – and check out the archive at Universe Today!

• Discover space for yourself and do fun science with a telescope. Here is Skymania’s advice on how to choose a telescope. We also have a guide to the different types of telescope available. Check out our monthly sky guide too!

©PAUL SUTHERLAND, Skymania.com

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