Carnival of Space 354

The Carnival of Space 354 is up at Urban Astronomer

Space.io9 – The European Southern Observatory releases a sneak peek of photographs and footage from their upcoming observatory documentary.

Space.io9 – A new simulation reveals the stellar carnage of neutron stars tearing each other apart.

Universe Today – Are you ready for a good close look at Mercury? At an incredible 5 meters per pixel, this is one of the highest-resolution images of Mercury’s surface ever captured. It was acquired on March 15 with the MESSENGER spacecraft’s MDIS (Mercury Dual Imaging System) instrument and shows an 8.3-km (5.2-mile) -wide section of Mercury’s north polar region, speckled with small craters and softly rolling hills.

Mercury High Resolution

Universe Today – As the northern hemisphere enters the hazy days of summer, thunderstorms will freckle many of our nights and days. What causes these sudden bursts of light that flash through the sky? Previous research showed that one cause is cosmic rays from space, generated by supernovas. But a new paper shows that something much closer and powerful is also responsible: solar wind from our own Sun.

Universe Today – This week, an international team of researchers from the Université de Montréal announced the discovery of an exoplanet around the star GU Piscium in the constellation of Pisces the Fishes 155 light years distant.

Nextbigfuture – Elon Musk is still winning. The U.S. Air Force is spending about $60 million and using as many as 100 people to certify billionaire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. for launching military and spy satellites, according to the service’s top uniformed acquisition official. Yet another Proton rocket failed 540 seconds into its flight, taking Express-AM4R satellite down with it. This was the second Proton failure since July, and the sixth one in the last few years.

Nextbigfuture – Russia cast doubt on the long-term future of the International Space Station, a showcase of post-Cold War cooperation, as it retaliated on Tuesday against U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow would reject a U.S. request to prolong the orbiting station’s use beyond 2020. It will also bar Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites, and suspend the operation of GPS satellite navigation system sites on its territory.

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