22 April 2012

Carnival of Space #246 Here at LINKS THROUGH SPACE

Links Through Space
Carnival of Space #246

Welcome to Links Through Space, astronomy for everyone.
This is the blog of our Astronomy Club here in Kustavi, Finland
We write news about space related topics and we showcase our Astrophotographies and Timelapses.
Our blog is a way for you to find new links through the Internet about Space and astronomy.

So here we have it, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Links Through Space is honored to declare the 246th Carnival of Space live from Kustavi Finland.
 OPEN!


This week at the Carnival of Space we have...
Quantum Vacuum
Brian Wang at Nextbigfuture - Can the properties of the quantum vacuum be used to propel a spacecraft? The near term focus of the laboratory work is on gathering performance data to support development of a Q-thruster engineering prototype targeting Reaction Control System (RCS) applications with force range of 0.1-1 N with corresponding input power range of 0.3-3 kW. Up first will be testing of a refurbished test article to duplicate historical performance on the high fidelity torsion pendulum (1-4 mN at 10 to 40 Watts). The team is maintaining a dialogue with the ISS national labs office for an on orbit DTO.

How would Q-thrusters revolutionize human exploration of the outer planets? Making minimal extrapolation of performance, assessments show that delivery of a 50 mT payload to Jovian orbit can be accomplished in 35 days with a 2 MW power source [specific force of thruster (N/kW) is based on potential measured thrust performance in lab, propulsion mass (Q-thrusters) would be additional 20 mT (10 kg/kW), and associate power system would be 20 mT (10 kg/kW)]. Read more HERE

Nextbigfuture - notes from the Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space conference - Session 462 Advanced Concepts: LENR, Anti-Matter, and New Physics. George H. Miley spoke on a Game-Changing Power Source Based on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions LENR. Dr. White said the team is developing an even larger Q-thruster, saying “We’ve had some experience in the 4000 micro-newton range with around 10 Watts of input power. But we’re trying to get more experience across a broader number of input parameters to help us understand if we have a good handle on the physics and engineering.” “A test article that we ran it at 2 MHz and 4 MHz, the predicted force was very close to the observed force. We’ll be building a much larger test article, we’re trying to get to the 0.1 million newton level of thrust, and we’ll be working on that over the next year.” Read full article HERE

Nextbigfuture - Last year, John Chapman of NASA proposed a pulsed laser system for megawatt class fusion propulsion. Here is a recent updated presentation. In Chapman’s aneutronic fusion reactor scheme, a commercially available benchtop laser starts the reaction. A beam with energy on the order of 2 x 10^18 watts per square centimeter, pulse frequencies up to 75 megahertz, and wavelengths between 1 and 10 micrometers is aimed at a two-layer, 20-centimeter-diameter target. The incremental thrust from a laser triggered p-11B target, assuming ~10^5 Alphas from a single laser pulse has been estimated to yield a few pico-Newton impulse per laser pulse from a 10 micron square target area. High pulse rate laser systems coupled with multiple square centimeters of active target area could effectively augment the effective thrust level towards Newton magnitude levels, particularly in conjunction with increased alpha yields from optimized target designs. Recent advances in laser technology indicate possibility of higher laser quantum efficiencies (over 25%) and higher femtosecond pulse train rates (~75MhZ). Bremstrahlung radiation and non-productive plasma also result in losses as well as particle collisions with the structure represent additional power losses from the propellant exhaust stream. Power is also lost in transverse momentum resulting in exhaust stream spreading. Read the whole story HERE

and finally at Nextbigfuture Back in Feb, 2012, Peter Diamandis was talking about asteroid mining. On April 24, he and his co-founders will make an announcement where he has the financial backing of several billionaires. Read more HERE

The Space Shuttle Discovery lands in Washington, DC
The Chandra blog relates that The Space Shuttle Discovery lands in Washington, DC after a journey from Florida. Read about the connection with the Chandra X-ray Observatory HERE.

At AstroWoW The word of the week is "Kuiper"! 
The solar system doesn't stop at Neptune -- this week we move into the icy junkyard of the outer solar system. The astronomy word of the week is "Kuiper"! See what it is all about in this excellent article HERE


Weirdwarp.com The Spitzer space telescope’s infrared array camera (IRAC) has been looking at the solar system right out to the most distant reaches of the universe. NASA is releasing a gallery of the 10 best IRAC images to celebrate this milestone.
The new images will highlight the capabilities of the Spitzer telescope hopefully adding to the argument to extend Spitzer’s mission until 2015. The telescope can image nebulae, Cold dust, peer inside obscured dust clouds where there are new stars forming and detect faint emissions from very distant galaxies. Read article HERE

Our Dear Astronomer Ray Sanders talks about A new Citizen Science project aims to encourage amateur astronomers to study asteroids in conjunction with the OSIRIS-REX mission. Read more HERE

In Supernovacondensate.net The puzzle of dark matter has been perplexing astronomers for years, but a new study finds that the local region of space around the Sun seems to be completely devoid of it. What could this mean for astronomy...? Continue to read HERE

At Starry Critters Zoom into the sprawling star-forming factory known as 30 Doradus and the Tarantula Nebula in a new mosaic from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This image, celebrating Hubble's 22nd anniversary, is the largest mosaic ever assembled from Hubble imagery. See the image and the article HERE

Asteroid 2011 WC1 re-observed with Faulkes Telescopes
after it was discovered by LGL student Julia Schnepf during
the fall 2011 IASC Pan-STARRS asteroid search campaign.
Carolin Liefke with project PAN-STARRS outlines how German school students have been using PS1 data to hunt for unknown asteroids.
 It’s March 15th 2012, the official start date of the fourth Pan-STARRS Asteroid Search Campaign of the International Astronomical Search Collaboration. Students from 40 schools – most of them from the United States and Germany, but also from Brazil, Bulgaria, England, India, Poland, and Taiwan – are ready to go. During the last few weeks, they practiced how to search for asteroids in astronomical images. Now they will have the opportunity to work with data from the Pan-STARRS PS1 telescope – and to discover several previously unknown objects in our solar system for the next five weeks.  Read more HERE

At Why Homeschool, The blog carnival Space Access was created after Henry Cate attended the 2007 Space Access.  Henry recently attended the 2012 Space Access conference and summarizes the latest developments in New Space. Chech it out HERE

The Venus Transit.com has an article on Sundials. Sundials were a very important mean in the past to measure and show the time. Today sundial are regarded more as architectural and design objects. The article from the Venus transit will show a gallery of different sundials in Israel. See nice pictures of Sundials and read the article HERE

View of terrain near Viking 1 lander on Mars, with trenches
dug in the soil for the life-detection experiments. Credit: NASA/JPL
Paul Scott Anderson at Meridiana Journal
New analysis supports discovery of life on Mars by Viking landers.
The question of whether or not the Viking landers found evidence of microbial life on Mars in the 1970s is one of the most hotly debated issues in space exploration and continues to this day. Most scientists concluded that the seemingly positive results of the Labeled Release (LR) life-detection experiments were the result of unusual chemical activity in the soil instead of life, based largely on the lack of organics found in the soil samples. This was the single biggest argument against the life hypothesis, as any microbes would need to be composed of organic material. Read more HERE

So her you have it! All the thrills and excitements of the Astronomy/Space community.
The Carnival of Space #246

If you run a space/astronomy related blog, and would like to get more awareness, participate in the Carnival of Space. Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space. It’s a great way to get to know the community, and to help your writing reach a wider audience. If you’d like to be a host for the carnival, please send email to carnivalofspace@gmail.com