What's On!try this observing feat on your own or would rather participate from the comfort of your home, Gianluca Masi from the Virtual Telescope Project has an event just for you: an online Messier Marathon. April's skygazing sights.
Space Missionsthis week from Cape Canaveral, FL, that are vital to US National Security, United Launch Alliance, SpaceX and NASA. Plasma jet driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) is one of those concepts. PJMIF involves a salvo of converging plasma jets that form a uniform liner, which compresses a magnetized target to fusion conditions. It is an Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)-Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF) hybrid approach that has the potential for many benefits over both ICF and MCF, such as lower system mass and significantly lower cost. 2000 year long Worldship journey would have to carry a minimum of 10,000 people to secure the success of the endeavor. And a starting population of 40,000 would be even better, in case a large percentage of the population died during during the journey. Adam Crowl's article detailing “Sail-Beam” or “Macron Beam” propulsion of humans in spaceships to about 4.5% of lightspeed. Other methods of propulsion: Quarter-wave sails made of Carbon Nano-Tubes (CNTs) can achieve high speeds by slingshotting near the sun and then pushed by the solar energy of the Sun. Dropping to 0.019 AU, the final velocity is 5.6% of light – dropping to 0.00465 AU (skimming the photosphere) would allow a speed of over 0.11c (11% of lightspeed), but the material might not be up to the beating. Crewed vehicles would not endure the extreme acceleration – 84,000 gee at peak – so the speeds that might be achieved by solar-sailing star-travelers would be limited to 1,000 year flights to Alpha Centauri, with just 17 gee peak acceleration. events from the OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroids Mission. There are a couple of really cool videos of asteroid appulse/occultations (passing in front of back ground stars). Watch as a 16th magintude star emerges from behind the bright Asteroid Polana.
Stars, nebulae, galaxies & solar systemwe've seen spraying geysers of water out of the ground, after Enceladus and Earth Cassini confirms underground ocean on Saturn’s geyser moon gorgeous Butterfly Nebula and the story of how it came to be. El Gordo is the most massive, the hottest, and gives off the most X-rays of any known cluster at its distance or beyond. the newest members of the Kuiper belt, discovered a few days ago. That object would be 2012 VP113, a very cool place to be. The new object was discovered through two years of research at the ESO's amazing La Silla observatory - our thoughts are with our Chilean friends after a challenging week with another large earthquake in the region. Previous episodes can be found here. If you run an astronomy or space science blog you can contact carnivalofspace @ gmail.com to be added to the editorial circulation list.