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Carnival of Space #41

NGC 1132. Image credit: Hubble
Witness the awesome power of our biggest Carnival of Space. Weighing in at a massive 22 entries, it's docked at the New Frontiers blog. Check it out, and gasp in awe at the galaxy eating monster, a feasible magnetic catapult, the fantastic colour palette of the Hubble Space Telescope, and 19 other stories.

Click here to read the Carnival of Space #41

And if you're interested in looking back, here's an archive to all the past carnivals of space. If you've got a space-related blog, you should really join the carnival. Just email an entry to carnivalofspace@gmail.com, and the next host will link to it. It will help get awareness out there about your writing, help you meet others in the space community - and community is what blogging is all about. And if you really want to help out, let me know if you can be a host, and I'll schedule you into the calendar.

Finally, if you run a space-related blog, please post a link to the Carnival of Space. Help us get the word out.

Human Damage to World Oceans Mapped, 40% "Strongly Impacted"

Science study map of most imapcted oceans on the planet (credit: B. S. Halpern/Telegraph Online)
If we needed any more proof that we as a race are damaging the worlds oceans, for the first time, our impact has been mapped by new study to be published in Science. It makes for uncomfortable viewing. Taking 17 known types of human impact on marine ecosystems, this new research suggests that only 4% of the oceans are relatively untouched, whilst 40% are strongly impacted by human activity. The most impacted marine ecosystems include the North Sea, the South and East China Seas, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Gulf, the Bering Sea, the East coast of North America and in much of the western Pacific.
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US Planning to Shoot Down Dead Spy Satellite

The USS Decatur during ballistic missile tests in June 22, 2007 (Credit: USS Decatur/US Department of Defence)
The US Navy is planning to shoot down a dead spy satellite that broke down shortly after it was launched in December 2006. Not only are there fears that the large satellite could survive re-entry through the Earth's atmosphere causing damage and perhaps fatalities, the satellite is also carrying the poisonous hydrazine propellant that could be a health risk if inhaled. Therefore plans are afoot to destroy the craft in orbit rather than letting it fall to Earth some time late February or early March.
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Another Solar System Found with Saturn and Jupiter-Sized Planets

Artist
As the search for extrasolar planets continues, researchers are finding systems more and more like our own Solar System. And today researchers announced another significant find: a system with two planets smaller than Jupiter and Saturn. It's almost starting to sound like home.
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Researchers Find a Supernova, Before it Exploded

SN 2007on. Image credit: Chandra
The problem with supernovae is that you never know where they're going to happen. Your only clue is the bright flash in the sky, and then it's too late. But a team of European researchers think they were lucky enough to have spotted the precursor to supernova.
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Book Review: Life in the Universe

Life in the Universe
Crawling and wriggling, flapping and yelping, life blooms all about us on planet Earth. We can't avoid it nor live without it. But, what's the scientific consideration of life? Here, Lewis Dartnell with his book Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide provides a simple, viable definition. And, as the title suggests, this forms the basis for searching for life elsewhere. Especially searching way out there just beyond the tip of our telescopes.
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Arecibo Spots a Triple Asteroid

Asteroid 2001 SN263. Image credit: Arecibo Observatory
Since asteroids have mass, they have gravity. And if you've got gravity, you can have moons. Several asteroids have been discovered in the outer Solar System with smaller asteroidlets circling them. But now the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico has turned up the closest example - a triple system just a mere 11 million km (7 million miles) from Earth.
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I Heart the ISS: Ten Reasons to Love the International Space Station

The International Space Station.  Image Credit:  NASA
It’s been called a white elephant, an orbital turkey, a money pit, and an expensive erector set. Seemingly, even many people at NASA think building it was a mistake. The International Space Station has been plagued with repeated delays, cost overruns, and bad press. Additionally, the ISS has never really caught the fancy of the general public and most likely there’s a fair percentage of the world’s population who have absolutely no idea there’s a construction project the size of two football fields going on in orbit over their heads.

But I’m going to be honest. I’ll come right out and say it: I really like the ISS. In fact, I’m crazy about it, and have been ever since Unity docked with Zarya back in 1998. Yes, my heart belongs to the space station, and since its Valentine’s Day, I’m going to profess my feelings here and now with ten reasons why I love the International Space Station:
(In no particular order:)
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Real-Time Solar Storm Warning Now Operational, Protecting Astronauts and Satellites

A SOHO/EIT image of the Sun during a flare event. The interference in the image are highly energetic particles impacting instrumentation (credit: EIT/SOHO, ESA/NASA)
Highly energetic solar particles are generated by solar flares and can be harmful to astronauts and sensitive satellite circuits. Solar flares are most likely to occur during periods of heightened solar activity (i.e. during solar maximum at the peak of the 11 year solar cycle), and future manned missions will need to be highly cautious not to be unprotected in space at these times. Many attempts are underway at forecasting solar activity so "solar storms" can be predicted, but a form of early warning system is required to allow time for astronauts to seek cover and satellites put in a low-power state. Now, using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), scientists are testing a new method of detecting high energy solar ions, in real-time.
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Synthetic Black Hole Event Horizon Created in UK Laboratory

An artists impression of a black hole
Researchers at St. Andrews University, Scotland, claim to have found a way to simulate an event horizon of a black hole - not through a new cosmic observation technique, and not by a high powered supercomputer… but in the laboratory. Using lasers, a length of optical fiber and depending on some bizarre quantum mechanics, a "singularity" may be created to alter a laser's wavelength, synthesizing the effects of an event horizon. If this experiment can produce an event horizon, the theoretical phenomenon of Hawking Radiation may be tested, perhaps giving Stephen Hawking the best chance yet of winning the Nobel Prize.
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Titan has "Hundreds of Times More" Liquid Hydrocarbons Than Earth - February 13th, 2008

Spies Caught Selling Shuttle Secrets to the Chinese - February 13th, 2008

Could the First Stars Have Been Powered by Dark Matter? - February 13th, 2008

Cautious Welcome for UK Research Council U-Turn on Gemini Observatory Funding - February 12th, 2008

Star Flips its Magnetic Field - February 12th, 2008

Astrosphere for February 12, 2008 - February 12th, 2008

Young Stars in a Blanket of Gas and Dust - February 12th, 2008

Hubble Finds One of the Earliest, Brightest Galaxies in the Universe - February 12th, 2008

Podcast: Stellar Populations - February 12th, 2008

Get Ready for the February 20/21, 2008 Total Lunar Eclipse… - February 12th, 2008

"Listening" for Gravitational Waves to Track Down Black Holes - February 11th, 2008

Columbus Module Attached to ISS after Eight Hour Spacewalk - February 11th, 2008

Astrospies on Nova, February 12th, 2008 - February 11th, 2008

Astronomers Use Light Echos to Measure the Distance to a Star - February 11th, 2008

Lightweight Disk Could Harbour Planets - February 11th, 2008

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