John Rennie writes on PLoS:

Skywatchers are excitedly awaiting the total lunar eclipse that will occur tonight between 2:41 a.m. and 3:53 a.m. EST, and if you intend to stay awake to watch this amazing sight, then by all means read the description of the 12 stages of the eclipse. Joe Rao’s article thoughtfully explains what you will see as the moon transits through different portions of the earth’s shadow. I wholeheartedly recommend it — if you want to wallow in astronomical nonsense.

Oh, I’m sure Joe Rao’s piece is backed up by an abundance of scientific facts and observations, if you care to put your faith in such things. But those of us well-versed in the ancient wisdoms know that the real 12 stages of a lunar eclipse are as follows:

1. Faint penumbral dimming of the moon’s disk.
2. Pervasive creeping sensations of unease.
3. Howling of wolves.
4. Unclean things walk the earth; Dick Cheney rises from the grave.
5. Contortion of the zodiac.
6. Intrusion of strange dimensions.
7. Universal gibbering madness.
8. Cthulhu.
9. A glimmer of sanity in the chaos.
10. Restoration of Euclidean geometry.
11. Fungal Mi-go from Yuggoth return captive brains to their rightful owners.
12. Applause, followed by waffles for breakfast.

Editor’s Note: This essay from Jim Marrs exploring a number of controversial ideas about the Moon was originally published in Above Top Secret: Uncover the Mysteries of the Digital Age (Disinformation, 2008)…. editor’s note: This classic report by former editor Alex Burns was originally published on this site on Aug. 13, 2002. Some external links may have changed. In a now infamous 1961…

Dark Side Of The MoonAwesome. Jesus Diaz writes on Gizmodo:

This is the hidden face of the moon like you’ve never seen if before, as captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s LOLA instruments. Despite its appearance, the picture wasn’t processed by NASA scientists taking LSD while listening to Pink Floyd.

The rainbow colors correspond to the elevation of the terrain, going from 20,000 feet (red) to -20,000 feet (blue). The beautiful coloring, combined with the unique sharp view of the craters — the largest in the solar system — makes me want the whole Moon to be exactly like that all year around.

The image is part of an article on ten cool things discovered in the first year of the LRO, which includes the Moon landing sites but not this amazing close up of its surface.

From National Geographic: Recently NASA crashed two spacecraft into the moon and orbiters scanned the lunar surface for telltale light signatures—all to confirm the rocky body isn’t bone dry after all. But,…

The recent cuts to NASA’s budget, including the axing of the upcoming lunar missions, the Ares Rocket System, and the Orion Spacecraft, have left many of us quite scared for the future of the U.S. space program. This classic article from Alex Burns examines those that question whether or not NASA even got to the moon in the first place. Are we afraid to go back, or to go there at all?

Lunargate by Alex Burns

250px-Apollo_11_Crew_During_Training_Exercise_-_GPN-2002-000032-228x300In a now infamous 1961 speech, US President John F. Kennedy pledged that America’s space program would “place a man on the moon before the decade’s close.” At the heart of cold war battles for geopolitical supremacy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs also became the vehicle for inculcating domestic populations with American values and belief systems.

NASA’s growing power, its protection by the Kennedy administration, and the rise of the Right Stuff astronaut as celebrity hid the steady growth of the Military-Industrial Complex that Eisenhower had warned about.

These anxieties — of monolithic social institutions controlling information, and the decline of US global empires — are the core of conspiracy theories claiming the historic Apollo moon landings were elaborately faked. The world was hoaxed.

Several news outlets are running a story about the likelihood of there being habitable moons like the one in the revolutionary movie Avatar. [As an aside, if you have the slightest interest in moviemaking, or just plain filmed entertainment, go and see Avatar on the biggest 3D screen you can find, preferably IMAX; it really does live up to the hype.] From Discovery News:

As James Cameron’s animated sci-fi movie Avatar goes on general release, astronomers point out that the movie’s habitable moon called “Pandora” may exist in reality.

Although none have been found to date, “exomoons” orbiting exoplanets are sure to exist. Could an exomoon be detected? If so, could that exomoon’s atmosphere be probed? Yes and yes, according to today’s announcement by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Mass.

Rebecca Sato writes on the Daily Galaxy:

Scientists recently solved some longstanding lunar mysteries, including how the Moon is producing its own water.


While it turns out that the Moon is not made out of Swiss cheese (disappointing, I know—that would have been a food source for lunar explorers), it does act like a big sponge of sorts. The lunar surface is a loose collection of irregular dust grains, known as regolith. Basically, the regolith absorbs electrically charged particles given out by the Sun. These electrically charged particles interact with molecules of oxygen that are already present in lunar dust, and voila, you have H2O…