Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last week's space and astronomy news a week late

I was so busy posting election news last week that I never got around to posting my roundup of space and astronomy news. Here it is, the space news from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Change in the weather edition) on Daily Kos, a week late.

NASA Television on YouTube: Dragon Ready to Ride the Falcon on This Week @NASA

The historic launch of the first-ever contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies Corporationis ready. Also, cybersecurity; Antares rollout; hangin' out on Google; the Hubble constant; space orchestra, and more!
The University of Colorado, Boulder, had their own press release on one of the experiments sent up on Dragon.

CU hardware to fly on first-ever NASA-contracted resupply mission to space station
October 5, 2012
A University of Colorado Boulder space center is providing hardware and technical support for scientific experiments aboard the first-ever NASA-contracted resupply flight to the International Space Station, slated for launch Oct. 7 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA-funded center in CU-Boulder’s aerospace engineering sciences department, has provided an automated, suitcase-sized incubator carrying fluid-processing devices for use by Montana State University researchers to test how a pathogenic yeast strain responds to the low gravity of space. The experiments will fly on the unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft developed by Space Exploration Technologies X, or SpaceX, which made history during a May 2012 demonstration flight by becoming the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station, or ISS.

BioServe’s incubator, known as a Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus, or CGBA, will provide space support for nearly 130 fluid-processing devices headed for ISS and loaded up with a common pathogen known as Canada albacans, said BioServe Business Development Manager Stefanie Countryman. The pathogen is under study by MSU faculty and students because it can cause localized infections in healthy people but can trigger potentially lethal infections in immune-compromised people.
Also, two diaries on Daily Kos examined what Curiosity did that week.

On Mars: One Scoop or Two? by LeftOfYou

Cool Greebly Mars Rock! by Autonomeritus

More astronomy news over the jump. on YouTube: October 2012 Skywatching - Blazing Venus, Andromeda and Orionid Meteors | Video

The closest spiral galaxy to our own; a brilliant 'morning star' in the eastern sky; and bits of Comet Halley's tail highlight an eventful month for star gazers.
Indiana University's STAR TRAK also discusses this month's stargazing.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Brilliant Jupiter will dominate the eastern sky by late evening during October. The huge planet will be much brighter than the stars of the constellation Taurus the Bull around it. Rising around 10 p.m. local daylight time early in the month and two hours earlier by month's end, Jupiter will be a magnificent sight in any telescope.
The Orionid meteor shower will peak before the first light of dawn on the night of Oct. 20-21. Try watching around 1 a.m. local daylight time, after the moon has set. The Orionids typically produce up to 25 meteors per hour, which appear to originate from the constellation Orion the Hunter. Orion will rise before midnight in the east-southeast, and the number of meteors will increase as it gets higher above the horizon. The shower will be active for most of October, with the number of meteors gradually increasing from the start and declining after the peak. The Orionid meteors are dust particles from Halley's Comet, left behind in the comet's orbit.
The moon will be at third quarter on Oct. 8, new on Oct. 15, at first quarter on Oct. 21 and full on Oct. 29.
Now, the rest of the week's news from the core of the Milky Way to space in unexpected places on Earth.

NASA Explorer on YouTube: NASA | X-ray Nova Reveals a New Black Hole in Our Galaxy

On Sept. 16, NASA's Swift satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from a source toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The outburst, produced by a rare X-ray nova, announced the presence of a previously unknown stellar-mass black hole.
University of Arizona: UA MacArthur Fellow Brings Alien Worlds to Your Backyard
UA assistant professor Olivier Guyon has made it his mission to enable amateur astronomers and school children to discover alien planets far outside our solar system. For his breakthroughs in telescope optics and his vision of bringing cutting-edge science to the public, he was awarded the $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship.
By Daniel Stolte, University Communications
October 2, 2012
University of Arizona astronomer and optical scientist Olivier Guyon has been named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow for his contributions and creative potential toward the study of planets outside the solar system and for his vision of involving the public in their discovery.

“When I was 10 years old, someone in my family gave me a book about astronomy, and I started looking at the sky and reading about it,” Guyon said in a recorded video statement. “Then I got a bigger telescope, and it never stopped.”
University of Louisville: Professor to test 'astro-surgery' device
by Jill Scoggins, HSC Office of Communications and Marketing
last modified Oct 01, 2012 02:48 PM
University of Louisville researcher George Pantalos is working with colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University on a potentially lifesaving technology for astronauts traveling to Mars or others who are on extended space missions.

Pantalos, professor of surgery and bioengineering attached to the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at UofL, and Carnegie Mellon bioengineering researchers James Antaki, James Burgess and Jennifer Hayden are in Houston, Texas, this week for several flights aboard NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft to test a surgical system that would make “astro-surgery” possible.

The device, known as the Aqueous Immersion Surgical System (AISS), resembles a transparent dome the size of half of a grapefruit. It is designed to be mounted over a patient’s surgical site.
Agence France-Presse via Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey): Nazi-taken Buddhist statue hails from space
PARIS - A thousand-year-old Buddhist statue taken from Tibet in 1938 by an SS team seeking the roots of Hitler's Aryan doctrine was carved from a meteorite, scientists reported yesterday.

In a paper published in an academic journal, German and Austrian researchers recount an extraordinary tale where archaeology, the Third Reich and cosmic treasure are intertwined like an Indiana Jones movie.

Called the "Iron Man" because of the high content of iron in its rock, the 24-centimeter-high statue was brought to Germany by an expedition led by Ernst Schaefer, a zoologist and ethnologist.
And that's is for last week's space news.

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