24 November 2014

Philae lander: Cartoon strips

Here are a few cartoon strips that I found on the net about the Philae lander.

Philae is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft until its designated landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P), more than ten years after departing Earth. On 12 November 2014, the lander achieved the first-ever controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus. Its instruments obtained the first images from a comet's surface. Philae is tracked and operated from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt, Germany. Several of the instruments on Philae made the first in situ analysis of a comet sending back data that will be analysed to determine the composition of the surface.

The lander is named after the Philae obelisk bearing a bilingual inscription used along with the Rosetta Stone to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics (Source Wikipedia).

Please feel free to put in comments new Philae Lander cartoon strips if you find on the net. Would be nice!

Translation: Hei! You are not here to joke around! -But I m have such a good time!

Philae Lander WIKIPEDIA
ESA Philea Lander instruments

17 November 2014


This week's Carnival of Space is blown away in the most desert parts of the globe.
The Sahara desert in Morocco.
Among this week's extraordinary space stories, we will be featuring here at Links Through Space an article on our preparations for our Expedition into the world of Meteorites
and Astrophotography in the Moroccan Sahara desert.

Please have a read and enjoy the carnival of Space #380.

Here are this week's Carnival of Space #380 space stories.

It's time for a crew swap on the International Space Station, with astronauts Reid Wiseman, Alexander Gerst, and Max Suraev returning home on an almost-perfect landing. - Mika Mckinnon

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Gets Its Color From Sunlight, Study Suggests - Elizabeth Howell

Reprocessed view by Bjorn Jonsson of the Great Red Spot
taken by Voyager 1 in 1979 reveals an incredible wealth of detail.
NASA’s Next Exoplanet Hunter Moves Into Development

A Lighthouse at the Heart of the Milky Way: Hunting Cosmic Neutrinos - Andrea Peterson

The IceCube Lab in March, 2012. Credit: Sven Lidstrom. IceCube/NSF
NASA X-ray Telescopes Find Black Hole May Be a Neutrino Factory - Megan Watzke

Cosmic Castaways’ Orphaned Stars Lighting Up the Universe in New Numbers - tinyintern (but who is tinyintern?)

Artist’s conception of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Image Credit: MIT
TESS exoplanet-hunting space telescope ready for development - Paul Scott Anderson

After a 10-year, 4-billion mile journey to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (C-G for short), the Rosetta spacecraft (which is now orbiting the comet) will drop a probe about the size of a kitchen range from a height of 13 miles.

Astronomy Club Toutatis is preparing for an expedition in Moroccan Sahara desert.
The sequel of the astronomy trip of 2012 at Sahara Sky Observatory.
Links Through Space - Stefan Lamoureux

Sahara Sky Observatory and your host Fritz Gerd Koring.
credit: S. Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis.
This week's Carnival of Space #380 picture is a free wallpaper of a flying circus (used as blown out tent for carnival effect). Credit: S. Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis

So here you have it! All the thrills and excitements of the Astronomy/Space community.
The Carnival of Space #380

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

Preparations for our Astronomy Club Toutatis Expedition in the Moroccan Sahara desert

This article is featured in Carnival of Space #380
Read more HERE for full carnival.

Kustavi, Finland

Getting ready for the ultimate astronomy adventure in the Moroccan Sahara desert. 10 days in the desert, extreme dark skies, astrophotography and meteorite expeditions. Here at the club I have been preparing for 2 months for this journey, I have learned a lot and it is all part of the outreach program of our Astronomy Club Toutatis, Kustavi Finland.

At home or on the field, research is research.
Astronomy Club Toutatis study on Meteorites 2014.
credit: S. Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis.
In 2012 we visited this amazing hotel/Observatory in the middle of the desert called Sahara Sky Hotel. This Hotel/Observatory is a Moroccan fortress type hotel that has a roof top terrace filled with telescope piers and exceptional quality telescopes to observe with. The hotel in itself is remote and has a dining room, a bar and even a sauna to relax in. This year I decided to go back and expand my experience further.

Sahara Sky Observatory with your host Fritz Gerd Koring.
credit: S. Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis.
Our journey will start with stargazing while one of the most spectacular meteor shower is happening, the 2014 Geminids. This should get the show started. We have also many telescopes to choose from to photograph deep sky objects, observe our solar system planets or even have a look at the Sun. For my part I will be photographing some deep sky objects for sure.  

The other part of our journey will be to hunt for meteorites in the Saharan desert near the Algerian border. This part of the journey is new to me. In 2012 the first time we went to Sahara Sky Hotel, the owner challenged us to come back soon and this time go to those ”secret” valleys where no one has gone for decades to hunt for meteorites. I took him to his word, accepted his challenge and organized this expedition.  

But first I had to do my homework...

I started to read about meteorites on the net, everything to get me started. Magnet tests, meteorite composition, Strewn field map reading. It is pretty cool science when you dig it all out at its core (literally).

At the University of Turku, Finland, I had the opportunity to visit the Geology department to see a meteorite found in the archipelago of Finland in 1971 named Häverö meteorite. This was my first meteorite and it helped me to understand more about the appearance, weight and magnetism of meteorites.

Me holding Meteor Haverö and Senior Lecturer, Deputy Head of Department
Timo Kilpeläinen from the Geology department of Uni. of Turku, Finland.
credit: S.Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis.

I also read an article about a Finnish meteorite collector Jarkko Kettunen and his trip into the Sahara desert to search for meteorites. (Issue Tähdet ja Avaruus 6/2014 Saharan kutsu).
I loved his story so I decided to contact him to ask for advice and tips. He replied to my emails with great information about places and tips on meteorite hunting. He was also so kind to send me one of his meteorite pieces from his collection to help us in identifying and getting the feel of a meteorite. I appreciated his kindness very much.

Finnish Meteorite collector Jarkko Kettunen
and the Meteorite piece given to me by Jarkko.
credit: S. Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis.

Now that all our preparations are done, we just have to wait to fly over there and enjoy the trip. I am really looking forward to it. 
Please continue reading the next post of my Astronomy trip in the Sahara, Southern Morocco HERE
Follow the complete travel post series and enjoy the astronomy behind it.

This is all part of the public outreach of Astronomy Club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland.

Here are useful links you want to visit.

Continue to  read earlier Series of posts on Astronomy Trip: The Sahara 2012. HERE.

12 November 2014

Comet 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko is having visit for dinner. Philae is bringing pie and ice cream!

An artist's impression of the Rosetta orbiter deploying the Philae lander to comet 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko
Credit: ESAC Carreau/ATG medialab

Follow the descent of the lander Philae onto comet  67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko LIVE from ESA's control room(s). 
Here is the link to LIVE BROADCAST of the event.