Carnival Of The Space Geeks (18th Count)

Posted by on Sep 3, 2007 in Blog, Mars, Space Geeks, Space Phenomena | 0 comments


The Carnival of Space is being hosted by Ken over at Out of the Cradle, with a variety of posts ranging from Cislunar space to the far reaches of our known universe.

A few interesting posts include:

  • “Shubber” (from Space Cynic) mocks comments on NASA’s attempt to reach out to pop culture.
  • Stuart (from Cumbrian Sky) recommends NASA should bring along an artist to capture the essence of Martian beauty.
  • Louise (from A Babe in the Universe) highlights about a hole in the universe that is baffling many scientists.

This week’s round will be hosted by Fraser from Universe Today, and if you would like to enter the carnival with a space related post, be sure to visit Why Homeschooling for details.

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Carnival Of The Space Geeks (17th Edition)

Posted by on Aug 28, 2007 in Blog, Mars, Space Geeks, Space Phenomena, Technology | 0 comments

(Image: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, via Answers.com)

The 17th Carnival of Space was hosted on the Planetary Society Blog, which only a handful of individuals participated in.

A few interesting posts included:

  • Louise RioFrio of A Babe in the Universe discusses (with video) about Pulsar’s in the Galactic Halo (with some interesting discussion in the comment section).
  • Paul Gilster of Centauri Dreams talks about using dark matter for faster than light travel (a dream of every Trekie).
  • Brian Wang of Advanced Nanotechnology gives his spin on the next 50 years of the future space economy and the technologies that will bring us there.
  • The mysterious author of Space Files informs everyone about the Russia’s plans of landing on the Martian moon of Phobos, with a video (in Russian) to explain it all.

Thursday’s Carnival will be hosted over at Out of the Cradle, a quote that should be familiar with those who are familiar with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

Note: This week I should be able to finally submit a post to the Carnival, and if you would like to join the fun (instead of waiting on the sidelines) then simply read these instructions in order to join the fun.

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Video: Mars Is An Angry Planet (Global Dust Storms)

Posted by on Jul 23, 2007 in Blog, Mars, Space Phenomena, Video | 0 comments

Despite its romantic appeal, Mars is a very hostile planet–at least “weather wise.” Although known for harboring dust storms upon its surface, the red planet seems to throw up a tantrum every three Martian years by coating the entire planet with “crimson soil.”

(Space.com) The surface of Mars is now obscured by a globe-engulfing veil of dust, posing a potentially longer-lasting threat to NASA’s twin surface rovers.

Massive regional storms have been whipping up dust on the red planet since late June. Now, they’ve combined to create a “planet-encircling veil of dust,” according to a statement from Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS), which operates a camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA.

“The dust raised by these individual storms has obscured most of the planet over the past few weeks,” the release stated.

Of all the space trials our species will face in the future, weather by far will be the most difficult. Humans (at best) can adapt to the climate of hostile regions, but have thus far been unable to manipulate it to our desires.

Just like our ancestors before us on Earth, future colonists will be at the mercy of the red planet’s emotional weather patterns, and may have to settle for constructing cities below the surface, as well as above.

(Video: Dust storms from the view of the Opportunity Rover on Mars. Credit: NASA)

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Magnetic Mars, Heal Thyself

Posted by on Jun 4, 2007 in Blog, Mars, Science, Space Phenomena | 0 comments

Aside from lacking resources, the largest setback towards calling this crimson world home is the absence of a global magnetic field. With humanity glimpsing at the red planet as a future home, it seems as if the red planet is anticipating our arrival and may remedy our “magnetic problems” for us.

(Space.com) Above ground, Mars is mostly a bone-chilling desert pocked with craters. Hundreds of miles below, however, a molten sea of iron, nickel and sulfur churns. And new research suggests the gooey core will eventually solidify-either from the outside-in, forming an iron-nickel core, or from the inside out, forming a core of a fool’s-gold-like minerals.

Andrew Stewart, a planetary geochemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, said Mars’ cooling core might restore magnetism to the red planet. “If liquid metal moves around a solid core, it could create a natural dynamo like the one found in Earth’s core,” said Stewart, who co-authored the study detailed in today’s online edition of the journal Science.

If this is true, then Mars may in the distant future become a habitable world, depending upon the strength of the magnetic field.

Although visiting Mars may be anywhere from a couple decades to a century away, our thirst for knowledge of the red planet may never be quenched, even after settling on Earth’s distant neighbor.

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Can Solar Weatherman Predict Radiation Storms?

Posted by on May 30, 2007 in Blog, Health, Science, Space Phenomena | 0 comments

(Image: Sun’s Corona in false color, Credit: Space Environment Center/NOAA via Lunar.org)


Imagine starting your day with a hot cup of luna coffee grown on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite, the Moon. As you head out of your bio home to fix another broken water pipe outside the Tycho observatory, you notice that the solar weatherman is on.

Not wanting to be late for your appointment, you turn off the satellite program and take the extra time to adjust your space suit before heading out the door.

Five minuets later your dead.

Unlike on our homeworld where one can skip the weather report and “make it” through the day, future colonists ignoring the solar weatherman may find themselves fried alive in their own space suits due to solar radiation.

Scientists are currently working on ways to predict solar weather, and one researcher may have discovered way to give future colonists an hours fare warning of the hazardous particles.

(Space Daily) The type of particle most feared by astronaut safety experts is the ion, that is, an atom which has lost one or more of its charge-balancing electrons. “Energetic ions can damage tissue and break strands of DNA, causing health problems ranging from nausea to cataracts to cancer,” says Cucinotta. […]

Every radiation storm is a mix of electrons, protons and heavier ions. The electrons, being lighter and faster than the others, race out ahead. They are like heralds proclaiming the ions are coming! Posner realized that by measuring the “rise time and intensity of the initial electron surge” he could tell how many ions were following and when they would arrive.

Predicting not only when, but how severe these storms will be would enable humans to determine whether or not it is wise to travel upon the surface of a world, not to mention between them. Although this study is yet in its infancy, solar weathermen will play an increasing role as we expand beyond our “earthen cradle,” and into the solar playground beyond.

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Colony Worlds Round Up

Posted by on Mar 13, 2007 in Blog, Germany, Health, Life, Random, Science, Space Elevator, Space Industry, Space Phenomena | 0 comments

Note: I have not been as faithful as I desired to in posting here (as life has been fairly busy) but these are some of the stories that may catch your eye regarding our future among the stars.

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Astroprof discusses the dangers of bone loss due to the lack of gravity in space.

Despite NASA’s attempts at reducing the loss, the percentage rate exceeds that of a woman with osteoporosis, leading I. Tenor (a commenter) to conclude that exile from Earth may be the price we pay for colonizing the stars.

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Jack Kennedy from Spaceports discusses Matsen Space System’s attempts at winning the Lunar Landing Analog Challenge later on this year.

There main competitors are Armadillo Aerospace and Blue Origin, who may put up some fierce competition.

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The Space Review has an article about finding life in the solar system. My views of this are fairly dim (as finding microbes does not help us reach the stars).

However, since scientists are looking for life near water ice, this research should prove quite useful in helping us locate future settlements as water is the main ingredient for life (at least carbon based life forms).

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Centauri Dreams has an excellent article discussing how the sun’s rays spin asteroids. Although this alone may not amaze anyone who is not a hard core space geek, this revelation does help put some weight behind the solar sail.

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Ted Semon from the Space Elevator Blog informs everyone that Germany is forming their very own space elevator competition scheduled for February of 2008.

This competition is not as ambitious as the Spaceward’s Space Elevator competition, however the fact that they are organizing it may help inspire other nations to follow suit.

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Hopefully I will have some time tonight to discuss some other issues on the back burner, including NASA’s paradox, Jupiter’s Ganymede, and the missing ingredient to call the Moon, Mars and Europa home.

Stay tuned. 😉

Update: Corrected spelling of Ted’s last name (Semon it is! Curse the spell checkers!) Also, I should have some free time later on today (at last). 🙂

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