Allen Versfeld's picture

Carnival of Space #442

Carnival of Space. Image Credit: Jason MajorIt's carnival time! Every week, the carnival of space moves to a new host to bring you the past week's best writing on space science and astronomy, and this week it's been dominated by two news items: The prediction of a Neptune-sized planet in our Solar System, far out past the orbit of Pluto, and the striking alignment of all five classical planets in early morning skies. My social media accounts have been on fire with conversations on both topics, and they're well represented in the articles submitted below.

Allen Versfeld's picture

Carnival of Space #436

Carnival of SpaceTime flies as the end of the year approaches, so fast that I got caught by surprise when my turn to hose the Carnival of Space came around again! It's been a surprisingly quiet week, if you go by article submissions, so let's get to it:

Allen Versfeld's picture

Mission to Mars: Why we must go

Preparing for a Mission to MarsThis entry was originally written for my Now Look Here! blog, but I reckon it's relevant for Urban Astronomer too:

I listened to a series of Naked Scientists podcasts recently, on the various competing plans to launch a human mission to Mars. One episode stood out in particular, asking whether this was something that we need to spend money actually doing.They assembled a panel of various experts and authorities to debate the issue, and while they all raised interesting points, they also all seemed to miss the bigger implications.  The two main reasons brought up in the debate were scientific research and the "lifeboat" principle.


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