Carnival of Space #44: The Angry Red Planet Edition

By Phil Plait | March 6, 2008 6:00 am

So here I am, hosting my second Carnival of Space (the first one was over Thanksgiving in 2007). Weirdly, almost all the entries this week are Mars-related. Well, if they weren’t Mars-related, I made them Mars-related. I’m a professional writer, full of tricks. I have semicolons, and I know how to use them.

But first, I want to note that Mang’s Bat Page has created a search tool for the Carnival of Space! It’s experimental, and evidently created by a bat, so use it at your own risk.

And second, if you like these blog posts, then I suggest you bookmark them or put their feed into your reader. You might also check out their blogrolls, because a lot of these blogs do link to other interesting space-related blogs.

So. To Mars! And a wee bit beyond.

Update: three entries for this Carnival got trapped in my mail filter. One is a beautiful lunar eclipse sequence from APOD, another is about using polarized glasses to look at Venus during the daytime, c/o Astroblog, and a third is about regulations and the free market when it comes to space from SpaceCynic. My apologies to all for not getting these in sooner.

Stuart Atkinson at Cumbrian Skies takes a look at the ever-changing landscape of Mars, and relates why we all found the Martian avalanche so intriguing.

While you’re busy standing on Mars and avoiding landslides, you might want to heed Ian O’Neill who, on his blog Astroengine, posits an early-warning system for solar flares that might zap future Mars colonists.

That’ll be useful, since Colony Worlds speculates this week about radiation hazards on other planets.

To make matters worse, at Starts with a Bang, Ethan Siegel tells you why Mars colonies will go thirsty.

Of course, if you feel like taking your chances anyway, you might want to jump on board Nancy Atkinson’s view at Universe Today and take a one-way, one-person trip to the Red Planet.

Perhaps you don’t mind sailing your way to Mars. Next Big Future has just the solar sail material for you: a big ol’ sheet of carbon nanotubes.

A solar sail has to be built in space, and A Mars Odyssey makes the case the building the International Space Station has been good practice for building a ship to Mars.

But who will be the first people to Mars? Reading RLV and Space Transport News, it sounds possible that it may be someone from India, or a South Korean riding a methane engine.

After reading Music of the Spheres this week, I wonder if the first human to Mars will be a woman?

Note, as Emily at the Planetary Society did, that for the first time, we had an all-woman team driving the Mars rovers.

Maybe, on the way there, she’ll hear some Toscanini, which is what aliens from farther away can hear, according to Centauri Dreams.

They’ll have to be careful steering their ship. Visual Astronomy outlines the orbital anomalies that have been plaguing interplanetary spacecraft.

If our Mars-bound crew gets bored, then Out of the Cradle has an anime movie they can watch: Moonlight Mile: One Small Step.

And in a meta-carnival, New Frontiers has a wrap-up of some space news in A Day in Space.

One of these things is not like the other: Astroengine talks about haze seen by the WMAP mission that may be from dark matter.

And another of these things is not like the other, too: speaking of WMAP, yours truly wrote about some new findings from the five-year-old probe: the Universe is 2.746 billion times older than WMAP.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, NASA, Science

Comments (15)

  1. Yoshi_3up
  2. With apologies to Phil’s server: Digg it up, folks!

  3. Pat

    Dark matter nuggets, eh? From the center of the galaxy? I thought the dark matter profile decreased to near zero at the center of the galaxy…

  4. Togusa

    Out of the Cradle’s review of “Moonlight Mile” was a rather interesting and positive review of the anime, especially coming from a non-anime perspective (that is, looking at the show purely because of its subject matter, not the fact that it’s anime).

    Which reminds me: I’ve got to dig out my “Planetes” DVDs and finish watching that series….

  5. I think I just added about 10 feeds to my feed-reader. :O

    However, totally worth it. A lot of really interesting reads. Dugg!

  6. There are probably more entries trapped in your mail filter. That happened to me when I hosted, too, and this week my entry is one of those trapped.

  7. Paul F. Dietz

    The dark matter nuggets theory is particularly interesting, since the nuggets are predicted to be predominantly *antimatter*. Antimatter compressed into such hyperdensity quark matter nuggets could be a very practical energy source — just expose it to normal matter gas and annihilation will proceed at a good rate on its surface.

    I was taken by the idea that the observed baryon asymmetry is due to the difference in segregation of matter and antimatter into these nuggets, not an actual overall imbalance of matter and antimatter.


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