The Carnival of Space is a roving showcase of astronomy articles from space blogs around the web. It's a chance for us to share neat stories, meet new authors, and reach new audiences. This is the 355th week of delicious links for your browsing pleasure.

This is io9's first time hosting, with stories from Simostronomy, Brown SpaceMan, One-Minute Astronomer, Urban Astronomer, Next Big Future, CosmoQuest, Universe Today, The Meridiani Journal, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Planetary Society, Improbable Research, the Bad Astronomer, and of course, the Space subsite. If you want to submit articles to the Carnival of Space, or volunteer to host it yourself, click on that link for the details.

NASA Project Updates

NASA's telescopes went up for review, and the Chandra X-ray telescoped passed with flying colours. The telescope often works with other observatories to combine forces for even more data. A visual example of this type of cooperation is this image of the Flame Nebula, a blend of X-ray data from Chandra and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.

For Earth Day, NASA asked the world to submit self-portraits tagged with #globalselfie. They took those photos to mosaic the Earth. Universe Today has the rest of the story. ( favourite photographs are submitted by fictional creatures.)

Did you know that NASA is running an indie/alt rock radio station? They're mixing music with clips about science news, and it's not nearly as awkwardly geeky as it could be.

The Camelopardalids

This was the Earth's first pass through the cometary tail for a brand-new meteor shower, the Camelopardalids. Read about the Chandra X-Ray Telescope's careful preparations to avoid getting a lens dinged with the space dust. Simostronomy has a first-hand account of watching the meteor shower, while the Bad Astronomer caught a fuel dump. While it was underwhelming to the naked eye, the dust ionized the atmosphere enough to create a pretty show for radio antennas.

Planetary Sciences

We've been poking around this solar system for a good long time. Universe Today has a map of 54 years of robotic probes exploring the our solar system, both those that were successful and those that failed spectacularly.

The Venus Express science mission ended, but the probe isn't done yet. The Planetary Society explains the next phase, an aerobraking experiment in the thick atmosphere.

CosmoQuest is the program for citizen-scientists to map craters around the solar system. This week, the CosmoQuest team write an update on results, breaking down just how accurate the MoonMappers project is. (Spoilers: very!) They also go exploring below the surface, using the radio to probe the moon beyond what can be seen with visible light.

Mars got a new crater, and we spotted it within a day. Are we keeping a protective eye on the planet next door, or is this nudging into science-stalking territory? Just next door, Urban Astronomer contemplates wet asteroids.

Jupiter's red spot is shrinking; the Meridiani Journal gives historical context for our fascination with the atmospheric phenomena.

Brown SpaceMan argues why Triton, the retrograde moon of Neptune, is downright awesome.


In their quiet and modest way, the Canadian Space Agency just made history. Canadarm and Dextre just became the first self-repairing robotic system, replacing a fuzzy video camera without leaving orbit or relying on pesky humans.

Next Big Future looks at the biting edge of technology, writing about a new form of global positioning using quantum assisted sensing, and using dense plasma to focus fusion for propulsion. They also exam a bit of current technology-politics, as Elon Musk gets a bit snippy about ULA getting a massive government contract, then hiring the procurement officer.


NASA is getting ready to spawn a whole new round of UFO reports, preparing a saucer for flight-testing over Hawaii.


Universe Today helps the European Space Agency celebrates half a century of space technology and development (and a few name-changes along the way....). One Minute Astronomer celebrates a shorter history, looking at the emergence of video astronomy. Improbable Research take a downright practical approach, revisiting the technology of how to pee in a spacesuit.

This is the Space subsite of io9. I'm a Recruit in my trial writing period; if you like my style, here's all my articles from this week. I only keep the job if I make my magical traffic numbers, but you can always find me on Twitter.