While it is true that the Moon will appear red in the Western Hemisphere, tonight is a bit of a stretch: it should take place roughly between 3 AM and 5 AM EST tomorrow morning, April 15th. Caused by the Earth, moon and sun aligning, the resulting full-lunar eclipse will give the Moon a red hue. Enjoy it if you can stay awake (or you’re in a more conducive time zone)!
Tag Archives | Moon
Stephen Hawking joined in a two-and-a-half-hour live broadcast from the International Space Station and Mission Control in Houston on March 16th, telling viewers that our future is in space and that we’ll have colonized the Moon within 50 years and Mars by 2100. It’s a message he’s been preaching for some time and with thousands of people clamoring to join the one-way mission to Mars planned for 2025, it seems his message has resonance…
Assuming you believe that the United States actually put men and machines on the moon before (yes, there are still plenty of naysaying conspiracy theorists who think it was a grand hoax), then this is a case of going back to the moon. If not, then it could be the first time. Exciting! From the Telegraph:
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America is preparing to land a robot on the moon for the first time in four decades.
Nasa is looking for private partners to participate in the project that will see a new generation of rovers wandering across the moon’s surface.
The American space agency has set up a programme called Catalyst to exploit commercial opportunities offered by the moon.
It believes that eventually there will be a market for commercial cargo trips to the lunar surface.
“As Nasa pursues an ambitious plan for humans to explore an asteroid and Mars, US industry will create opportunities for Nasa to advance new technologies on the moon,” said Greg Williams, Nasa’s deputy associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
A mere photographic anomaly, or does Google Moon viewer show something more sinister? The Daily Mail writes:
Speculation has exploded over these controversial images which appear to show something unexplained on the surface of the moon.
The triangular anomaly, spotted on Google’s map of the moon, has rows of seven light-like dots along its edge that have been likened to an alien base or spaceship.
The two-sided, triangular feature on the lunar surface, was uncovered by paranormal researcher YouTube user WowForReeel and posted in a new video. ‘Is is just a weird looking crater? or is it something else?,’ he asks.
It can be found on the Google Moon viewer at coordinates 22042’38.46N and 142034’44.52E. The regularly spaced, circular promontory shapes which make up the seven points on the perfectly formed triangle wedge seem to be intelligently designed.
Calling all moon landing conspiracy theorists: did China really just make the first landing on the Moon in four decades? Or ever? AP reports on China’s lunar beachhead:
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China on Saturday successfully carried out the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.
The unmanned Chang’e 3 lander, named after a mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, touched down on Earth’s nearest neighbor following a 12-minute landing process.
The probe carried a six-wheeled moon rover called “Yutu,” or “Jade Rabbit,” the goddess’ pet. After landing Saturday evening on a fairly flat, Earth-facing part of the moon, the rover was slated to separate from the Chang’e eight hours later and embark on a three-month scientific exploration.
Hot on the Jim Marrs’ post “Who Parked Our Moon” that resurfaced last week, now the highly respected science journal Nature gets in on the act of questioning just what the deal is with our moon. Author Robin Canup, associate vice-president of the Planetary Science Directorate of Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, says current theories on the formation of the Moon owe too much to cosmic coincidences:
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The Moon is more than just a familiar sight in our skies. It dictates conditions on Earth. The Moon is large enough to stabilize our planet’s rotation, holding Earth’s polar axis steady to within a few degrees. Without it, the current Earth’s tilt would vary chaotically by tens of degrees. Such large variations might not preclude life, but would lead to a vastly different climate.
Knowing how the Moon was made is central to understanding Earth and the formation of other planets.
Jeez, why can’t we just leave the moon alone? The United States and the Soviet Union wanted to to nuke it, NASA now wants to turn it into a vegetable garden, and the Japanese want to turn it into a power plant. The latter story from Quartz:
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Shimizu, a Japanese architectural and engineering firm, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide (pdf) running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations.
That means mining construction materials on the Moon and setting up factories to make the solar panels. “Robots will perform various tasks on the lunar surface, including ground leveling and excavation of hard bottom strata,” according to Shimizu, which is known for a series of far-fetched “dream projects” including pyramid cities and a space hotel.
The new balanced diet includes space fruits. The Independent reports:
NASA has announced plans to grow plants on the moon by 2015 in a project designed to further humanity’s chances of successfully colonising space. If successful, the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team will make history by seeding life from Earth on another celestial body for the first time, paving the way for humans to set up more permanent habitation.
NASA plans to deliver the payload via the Moon Express lander, a commercial spacecraft enrolled in the Google Lunar X Prize. Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips,” said NASA officials in a press release.
Partial gravity and lunar radiation will need to be accounted for, although the plants will travel with their own water reservoir and enough air for five days of growth. Cameras and sensors will monitor the plants and send data back to Earth.
A bill to make summer vacations of the future much more exciting, Space.com reports:
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A new bill introduced into Congress would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the moon. The bill was introduced Monday by Rep. Donna Edwards of (D-Md.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).
The bill calls for no later than one year after the date of enactment of the act, “there shall be established as a unit of the National Park System the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park.”
Creating such a park will expand and enhance the protection and preservation of the Apollo lunar landing sites, the bill states, “and provide for greater recognition and public understanding of this singular achievement in American history.”
The Secretary of the Interior would work with NASA to ensure the proper monitoring of the Apollo lunar landing sites; managing access to the sites; and ensuring an accurate cataloguing of items in the park.
Many look back on the Apollo 11 lunar landing as a crowning achievement of humanity and pinnacle of a time when America was able to unite and accomplish great things. But the Atlantic points out that there was widespread public discontent over the propagandistic aspects and vast expense spent on the moon mission while the most basic problems of life on Earth went unaddressed:
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We’ve told ourselves a convenient story about the moon landing and national unity, but there’s almost no evidence that our astronauts united even America, let alone the world. Polls both by USA Today and Gallup have shown support for the moon landing has increased the farther we’ve gotten away from it. 77 percent of people in 1989 thought the moon landing was worth it; only 47 percent felt that way in 1979.
Many black papers questioned the use of American funds for space research at a time when many African Americans were struggling at the margins of the working class.