This week, the United States marks the Thanksgiving holiday. For most of us, this means lots of time with family (sometimes too much), friends, and vast amounts of food. It also causes all productivity to cease anywhere close to Thursday and the days that follow. That said, however, science and space never sleep â€“ not even from an overdose of tryptophan. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with this word, it has to do with pseudo-urban legends surrounding the American overconsumption of turkey on this holiday.) Now, off to our spin around the blogs.
Over at Colony Worlds, they speculate on what the future wonders of the Solar System could be once we humans really start to get other there. If any of these predictions are right, there's a lot to look forward to in a couple of centuries.
The importance of the odd-looking Super Guppy aircraft to the success of the Apollo mission during the 1960s is chronicled at A Babe in the Universe. Guppies proved critical in getting humans to the Moon on schedule.
Brian Malow has created a cool (yes, that's a pun on infrared light) new video on the Herschel Space Observatory for Time.com that he also posts to his Zero Gravity blog. You can also find other videos that he's worked on for IYA 2009, the Apollo anniversary and others.
The Angry Astronomer talks about the recent newcomer to the alphabet and number soup that is supernova categorization. This newbie - dubbed SN 2002bj - doesn't fit any previous category so scientists having taken to calling it a .Ia supernova and thinking they are very clever for doing so.
CheapAstronomy delivers an ode to Carl Sagan roughly around the anniversaries of his death (Nov. 7th) and birth (Nov. 9th) with an audio podcast on the noted astronomer.
Lounge of the Lab Lemming has a post entitled â€œStars Get Lonely Too, which covers some of the cosmic chemistry of stars with and without planets.
Alice Enevoldsen at AstroInfo has created a fabulous chart of all of the press releases that have been issued about water on the Moon. (Let's just say, yes, we get it, there's water on the Moon. Now what?)
The ubiquitous role of thermodynamics - both here on Earth and across the cosmos - is discussed at Supernova Condensate. A good summarizing quote: "Bluntly, you don't argue with thermodynamics."
The folks over at Out of the Cradle have conducted the first in a series of interviews with the Google Lunar X-Prize competitors. In this one, they talk with Mike Joyce of Next Giant Leap.
They also have a nice in-depth report on their activities at a recent lunar conference in Houston.
At Simostronomy, Mike interviews Tom Boles, who recently broke Professor Fritz Zwicky's record for the number of supernovas discovered. And, he managed to discover his 124 supernovas (so far) under the less-than-ideal skies of the United Kingdom.
Simostronomy also has a piece on the unusual object 3C 66A.
CollectSPACE has an entry on the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum's newest tenant: the Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2. This little piece of hardware has a posh former address as well - aboard the Hubble Space Telescope for the last 16 years.
The Next Big Future has a slew of new things to take a look at - some 13 different articles on a bunch of different space-related topics.
It's not every day that you hear a galaxy successfully being compared to the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but Phil Plait has pulled it off on BadAstronomy. Take a look if you don't believe me.
Steinn Sigurrdson speculates - and let us do so also - on what the Kepler mission people might be announcing at the upcoming AAS meeting in January.
The meeting, which is the bigger of the two annual AAS meetings, will be in DC so let the news-making games begin!
Astroblog has a very practical and detailed account of the latest Leonid meteor shower.
There's a nice summary of the amount and types of space junk that we have collectively let up if low-Earth orbit at Weird Warp. In short, bring a helmet if you're planning on heading up there for a spin.
The Universe Today follows suit with the space debris theme and profiles how the VASMIR spacecraft - in addition to some potential quick Mars runs - could be used to help clean up the junk in Earth's orbit.
The Cumbrian Sky details some pretty spectacular images of geysers on Enceladus from Cassini that seemed to have been missed many space news outlets. Truly worth a look.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute now has a collection of 3-D imagery on Flickr.
Finally, the Chandra blog contains a couple of new pieces. The first is a video profile of Penn State researcher, Leisa Townsley. The second is a two-part series on the nuts and bolts of Chandra Source Catalog and how it ended up in Google Sky.
-Megan Watzke & Kim Arcand, CXC