Amateur Space News April 17, 2014

News today about some of the teachers who will conduct research on Nasa’s 747-based flying observatory, a new press release from CosmoQuest, and a Near Space flight for a college mascot.

Kim Abegglen and Anna-Melissa Lyons, two middle school teachers from Brush Prairie, Washington have been selected to fly on Nasa’s Sofia infrared observatory in April. In an interview with local TV station KOIN, Lyons focused on “the experience of us doing real science”. In addition to Lyons and Abegglen, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported on Oregon high school teacher Robert Black and amateur astronomer Dave Bloomsness.

The news broke several weeks ago about the MoonMappers paper that found crowdsourcing amateur analysis is just as effective as professional crater mapping. The electronic version (fee required) went live on Science Direct and on arXiv (free preprint) last month. Yesterday CosmoQuest issued their formal press release.

Minnesota Public Radio posted video of University of Minnesota mascot Goldy the Gopher’s flight into Near Space on a student-run high altitude balloon project.