The inimitable Emily at the Planetary Society blog hosts the latest edition of the Carnival of Space. Her blog is consistently one of the most informative, astute, and well-written on the topic of astronomy. I recommend regular visits there even when the carnival has packed up and left for other sites.
As for myself, I’ve been writing less and watching more, though even the watching has been tempered with a bout of the flu this past week. I was out with my wife last night and when we pulled in the driveway, dang if the moon wasn’t almost full again. It seems like just yesterday I was watching for this encounter in the post-sunset sky, wonderfully captured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day site. (Another place worth a daily visit.)
Meanwhile, in outer space, the moon Prometheus makes more mischief in Saturn’s F ring. For perspective, this moon compares to the two smallest US states: about two-thirds as long as Delaware, about 50% longer than Rhode Island. This section of ring imaged above would stretch from the Atlantic US coast almost to the Rockies.
When our moon gets close to full early this week, you’ll notice a bright point in the south with rays streaking out across the lunar surface. That bright crater is Tycho and Prometheus is within a mile of the size of that crater, only egg-shaped. If this potato-shaped moon were ours, orbiting at our moon’s distance, you would just be able to make out the oblong shape.