Saturday, July 12, 2014

Orbiting Carbon Observatory launches and space news video extravaganza

I ended Gliese 832c and other space and astronomy news by telling my readers to to stay tuned for the next week's space news.  The wait is over.

The news begins with Carbon Observing Mission Launches on This Week @NASA.

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission is underway. Launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, OCO-2 will help track our impact on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and help us better understand the various human-made and natural sources of CO-2. This is one of five Earth-observing missions scheduled in 2014 -- the most Earth-focused missions launched in a single year, in more than a decade. Also, Saucer-shaped vehicle tested, Cygnus Orb-2 launch update, Space Launch System model tests and 10 years exploring Saturn.
Follow over the jump for the rest of last week's space and astronomy news, mostly in video form.

Science at NASA: ScienceCasts: Fruit Flies on the International Space Station

A new species is about to join astronauts on the International Space Station: Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the "fruit fly." Genetically speaking, the bug-eyed insects have a lot in common with human beings, and they are poised to teach researchers a great deal about voyaging into deep space.
JPL/NASA: LDSD Test Vehicle Returns

First video of NASA's saucer-shaped test vehicle, the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) after it was recovered from the ocean and returned to Port Allen, Kauai, on June 29, 2014. The LDSD vehicle had completed its first test flight from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai one day earlier.
JPL/NASA: What's Up for July 2014

Spot Pluto and see the Milky Way and planets all month long.
Hubble Space Telescope: Tonight's Sky: July 2014

Backyard stargazers get a monthly guide to the northern hemisphere's skywatching events with "Tonight's Sky." In July, the annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower streaks through the night.
Discovery News: What Happened To The Flags On The Moon?

Over the course of 6 Apollo missions, several American flags were placed on the moon! Are they still there? Trace explains what has happened to these flags over the years, and discusses how one of them might not even be there anymore!
Discovery News: Were Scientists Wrong About The Big Bang?

Back in March, scientists announced the discovery of gravitational waves and evidence for the Big Bang! What are gravitational waves, and is their evidence real? Dr. Ian O'Neill joins DNews to break down this complex concept.
Discovery News: Can A Moon Be Older Than Its Planet?

It was announced last week that Saturn's moon Titan might actually be older than Saturn itself! Why do scientists think this? Dr. Ian O'Neill from Discovery News joins DNews to discuss what makes this finding so astounding!
Finally, this bit of space news via archeology from the Polish Press Agency: Archaeologists discovered a meteorite fragment in a 9 thousand years old hut.
Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) PAS in Szczecin discovered a meteorite fragment inside the remains of a hut dating back more than 9,000 years in Bolków by the lake S'widwie in Western Pomerania.
It is a natural pyrite meteorite fragment with cylindrical shape and porous, corrugated side surface. It has a height of 8 cm, width of 5.3 cm at the base and 3.5 cm at the top.
Now I'm caught up.  Time to collect this week's space and astronomy news.

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