100th Carnival Of Space. Oh Yes! It’s the Centenary Edition!


One hundred Carnivals. Wow.

I think it goes without saying that this is a huge Carnival of Space, a celebration of the first century of space blogging as we move into the second. So long as I blog about space and science I will continue to participate in this supreme celebration of the space blogosphere.

So, over to Brian Ventrudo at One Minute Astronomer, for the huge 100th Carnival of Space!

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” — Carl Sagan (from One Minute Astronomer)

Astroengine Live Show #15: The Carnival Of Space… Live!


Show 15 of Astroengine Live is going to be a first. A first for me and a first for the Carnival of Space. I’m going to do it live. I was actually contemplating doing it 99% live, just having the entries for the 96th Carnival embedded in some show notes, but no, that wouldn’t be fair, I’d have to do two versions, one online and another on the air. I suppose the best thing about preparing the jumbo 96th Carnival before Astroengine Live is that at least I’ve read all the entries, in depth and thoroughly… erm… yeah, I did that, right? Well, I did, but having glanced through the entries, I’ve forgotten the details of many of them. So I’m going to run into Wednesday’s show and hope for the best, discussing the Carnival and whatever else comes to mind.

One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a rich and varied experience! I think there were 30 entries in the end, with only a few duplicates. That is either a blessing or a curse, but then again, I’ll only find out when I’m in front of the microphone.

So! See you at 4pm (PST), 5pm (MST), 6pm (CST), 7pm (EST)… or midnight GMT!

Get Involved!

Have any articles or stories you want to contribute? Have an opinion on anything in the world of space? Email me on astro@wprtradio.com and I’ll be sure to give it a mention. Eventually, I hope to have telephone call-ins, but for now, email will do.

Listen to Astroengine Live using the Paranormal Radio player. Or, pick up the podcast feed to activate your favourite audio software.

The Carnival of Space Week 96

Hello and welcome to the 96th Carnival of Space on Astroengine.com!


Before we begin, I want to wish the Universe Today a Happy 10th Birthday! Fraser Cain started the website way back on March 23rd, 1999 (have a look to see what it used to look like) and he hasn’t looked back since. I am proud to be writing for the premium space news blog on the web that pulls in two million visitors per month. I love working with Fraser, Nancy, Tammy, Nick, Mark, and now our newest addition to our ace team, Anne. Here’s to the next decade!

So, for this week’s Carnival, as there were so many quality entries, I decided to pose a question for each entry. You can take a look at the questions below, and before you click on the link, try to guess the answer. Otherwise, just scroll down and read through the entire list. (Many of the answers may not be too obvious.) Failing that, you can listen into Astroengine Live on Wednesday April 1st for the first ever “live” Carnival of Space!

Thank you Fraser for allowing me to host this week’s Carnival, it really has grown since the last time I played host way back on the Carnival of Space #51 in April 2008! I hope to do it justice. If your entry isn’t here, be sure to drop me a comment below and I’ll get you online ASAP. Cheers!

Ready? Let’s roll….

The Questions

Continue reading “The Carnival of Space Week 96”

When the Sun is So Boring, Anything Becomes Interesting

Caption: So boring it doesn't deserve a caption (NASA/SOHO)
Caption: So boring it doesn't deserve a caption (NASA/SOHO)

You know when you have those unremarkable days, those periods of time you experience you know you’ll forget tomorrow? It’s either “just another” day at work, another commute, or a Sunday where you had a beer, fell asleep, only to wake up again to realise it was too late to get up so you stayed in bed till Monday? (And no, I don’t make a habit of that. I’m sure to have at least two beers.) Most days aren’t like that for me, usually I can think of one noteworthy event that sets apart one day from the next, but sometimes it’s as if Stuff Happens™ doesn’t.

It would appear the Sun is having an extended period of time where Stuff Happens™ is at a premium, so you have to make the most of when something really does happen. In this case, the Sun released a crafty CME, thinking we wouldn’t see it…
Continue reading “When the Sun is So Boring, Anything Becomes Interesting”

Carnival of Space Week 94 – Out of the Cradle


For the 94th week of the greatest carnival in the blogosphere, the Carnival of Space is being hosted by Lunar Librarian Ken Murphy over at the superb space blog Out of the Cradle. He has done an astounding job with this edition as there are yota-tonnes of asteroids, exoplanets, stars, galaxies, dark matter and all sorts of space exploration goodness.

For Astroengine’s part, I geeked out and threw my musings about virtual reality being physical reality and how future astronauts might be exploring a virtual representation of a physically accurate… physical Mars… or something. That didn’t make a whole lot of sense, so go to “Reality, Virtual” for more.

Carnival of Space Week 93 – The Planetary Society


I have been very slack with announcing the Carnival of Space over the last couple of weeks, sorry about that. Will do better in the future. Honest. In fact, I’ve just realised we are fast approaching a landmark Carnival, the 100th edition! That’s in seven weeks, and the Carnival seems to be only getting bigger. I believe being involved in the space blogosphere is essential for any space science writer, it helps you communicate your writing as well as connect with other like-minded people. I’ve made lots of friends through the Carnival and we always welcome new bloggers/journalists/authors, anyone who has a passion for space and want to show their gushy love for the Universe.

This week’s superbtastic Carnival of Space has stopped at the Planetary Society’s blog written by the talented Emily Lakdawalla, so if you want to put aside a couple of hours (and I really do mean hours) reading through the fascinating work being generated by the machine that is the space blogosphere, be sure to check it out.

Astroengine really showed itself up this week by submitting an article about synthetic life, with a heavy fascination for a certain female Cylon. Oh well, who said science wasn’t sexy?

Twitter Physics: #physics140


If you are familiar with Twitter, you will have come across search tags (words with the hash character in front, i.e. “#searchterm”). So today I decided to create #physics140 where any Twitter user can submit an everyday example of physics.


@MDBenson: Cat with wet paws jumps on handbasin for a drink, slips and falls off with a crash and a lot of spitting. Friction Fail #physics140

@astroengine: Turns out that putting ur coffee mug ontop of a subwoofer during NTrance “Set You Free” vibrates said mug onto the floor. #physics140

We’ll see how this works out, but it could be fun as well as educational. So, get onto Twitter and include your piece of everyday physics in 140 characters or less!

For easy tag browsing, check out the #physics140 @tagalus listing (thanks @natronics!)

Sci-Fi Romance and the Carnival of Space Love

WALL-E, the best animated-sci-fi-robot-romantic-comedy of all time (yep, I teared up at the end)
WALL-E, the best animated-sci-fi-robot-romantic-comedy-adventure of all time (yep, I even teared up at the end).

I couldn’t resist. As it is the day of romance, love and *pinging* cash registers, I thought I’d post a special Astroengine commentary of Valentines Day. Everyone is doing it; the Google logo is loved up, the news websites are buzzing about it, even the blogs seem to be obsessed with relating their craft with the desire for some romance (even this week’s Carnival of Space over at 21st Century Waves is “doing it”), so here’s some random Valentine’s Day paraphernalia for your reading pleasure…
Continue reading “Sci-Fi Romance and the Carnival of Space Love”

Carnival of Space Week 88 – The Spacewriter


Want to know what’s been happening in the Universe this week? Get over to Carolyn Collins Petersen’s space and astronomy blog (a.k.a. “The Spacewriter”) for a SUPERB Carnival of Space. I’m not entirely sure where to start for week 88, there’s so much to choose from! In fact, looking at the number of entries, I’d say this is one of the largest turnouts so far. Wow, there’s a lot of science writing going on!

From Carolyn’s well-crafted peek into the space blogosphere, here’s a tiny fraction of articles that caused a derailment to my plans for getting any work done this afternoon (plus my first reaction, in a word):

21st Century Waves (Bruce Cordell): Long Waves and the Future of Human SpaceflightWow

Centauri Dreams (Paul Gilster): A Workable Fusion Starship?Whoosh!

Space Video of the Day: Announcement by Pres. Regan after the Challenger disasterMoving

Mang’s Bat Page (David Gamey): How You Could Pilot a Space Telescope (Upside Down)Shiny!

Simostronomy (Mike Simonsen): Aperture FeverObsessed!

The Martian Chronicles (Ryan Anderson): The MOC “Book”: IntroductionInsightful

Starts With A Bang! (Ethan Siegel): Supernovae and Dark Energy: Part IIAha!

There are loads more where that came from, so get your bums down to The Spacewriter and enjoy!

From Astroengine.com, I submitted my musings about the secret payload on that Delta IV Heavy… just why are clandestine launches so damned sexy?

Carnival of Space Week 86 – The Martian Chronicles


After a week’s rest, the Carnival of Space is back, in force! Loads of entries this week from Ryan at The Martian Chronicles; everything from the Mars methane fuss, man in space, black holes and (lets not forget) the buzz about the possibility of a holographic Universe. This week, from Astroengine.com, I entered the great news that Peter Higgs has discovered his very own Higgs boson (you’ll have to read the post if you want to know what I’m going on about!).

So, get over to The Martian Chronicles so you can find out what’s hot and what’s not in the space blogosphere! (Did I really just say that?)