Carnival of Space Image Credit: Jason Major

Welcome back to Urban Astronomer for the 447th Carnival of Space! Regular readers of this site who might be wondering why the Carnival seems to be all we cover recently, should stay with us to the end – we have exciting announcements to make about the future of Urban Astronomer. Meanwhile, for the rest of you, here comes the carnival. It’s a small offering this week, but it’s all good stuff so let’s get on with it.

First up, from Ryan Marciniak’s The Solstice Blog, a look at astronaut Scott Kelly who has just completed a one year mission on the International Space Station.  Commander Kelly is the subject of an experiment to determine the long-term effects of microgravity on the human body.

Zain Husain, of The Brown Spaceman, has submitted three articles for our enjoyment.  The set starts with an essay on his love of science and the personal journey that led him to develop a skeptical scientific mindset.  He then takes us fifteen thousand light years away to witness the slow explosion of a vast Wolf-Rayet star nearing the end of its life.  And finally, he brings us back home to our own Solar System, for a look at a mysterious dark sand dune on Mars.  This dune is gradually moving across the surface of the red planet, covering about one meter each year.  Curiosity was recently sent to have a closer look.

And that’s that!  Told you it was a small carnival this week!


So what’s this big news about Urban Astronomer?  Simply that we’re reinventing ourselves.  The old model of spinning space-related press releases, and trying to add our own perspectives, has not worked for some time now – you can track how this has slowly failed by noting how the gaps between posting dates has grown longer and longer.  Everything written in the past few months has either been a blog-style post describing my activities and photography in the real world, or a Carnival of Space.  It’s high time we acknowledged that things have changed so first, we’ll be reinventing the website.  Then we launch a podcast and hopefully, in the near future, we begin a video series.  And of course, we’ll continue fleshing out the Astronomy 101 and Q&A sections as time goes by!

Hopefully this goes well, and we’ll see you again soon!


About Allen Versfeld

Allen is an amateur astronomer, an IT professional, a podcaster, a father of five beautiful kids and a barely competent chess player. He is also the director of the Astrophotography Section of the Astronomical Society of South Africa, where he coordinates and promotes the activities of people who are far better photographers than him.


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