Throw-Away Photographs Shot During Neil Armstrong’s Visit to the Moon.

Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin snapped a total of 122 70mm color photographs using modified Hasselblad 500EL cameras during their short visit on July 21, 1969. However, not all of them were pretty.

American Photo magazine writes that the photographic record left by those two men shows a very human picture of that first landing. Some of the “dud” photos show accidental shutter preses, focusing errors, lens flare, and even photobombed landscape shots.” [x]

You can find the entire collection of 122 photographs on this NASA website, listed in chronological order.

Phases of the moon - The Lunar Phase cycle.

“Each individual moon image is a single frame from my SLR, shot with my 600mm refractor, 2xTC and some macro tubes, mounted on a camera tripod. The new moon, and the background is the full moon adjusted. For the new moon, very much faded, but I wanted to have a representation there. The background used an iterative resize process. The full size image is 23000 pixels square.

Thanks to the weather and other factors, this took about a year to capture all the individual images.”

Photo was taken on January 20, 2012 in Horsham, England, GB.

Copy Credit : John Skouros


Alaskan Moondogs

[Image Credit & Copyright: Sebastian Saarloos]

“Moonlight illuminates a snowy scene in this night land and skyscape made on January 17 from Lower Miller Creek, Alaska, USA. Overexposed near the mountainous western horizon is the first quarter Moon itself, surrounded by an icy halo and flanked left and right by moondogs. Sometimes called mock moons, a more scientific name for the luminous apparations is paraselenae (plural). Analogous to a sundog or parhelion, a paraselene is produced by moonlight refracted through thin, hexagonal, plate-shaped ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. As determined by the crystal geometry, paraselenae are seen at an angle of 22 degrees or more from the Moon. Compared to the bright lunar disk, paraselenae are faint and easier to spot when the Moon is low.”

“Like every great river and every great sea, the moon belongs to none and belongs to all.” - E. B. White, July 26, 1969

Forty-four years ago today, the whole world watched as Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on our beloved Luna. 

Here’s an excerpt from a quick article, Forty-four years ago today, the man in the moon became real:

“We talk a good game about education being important, but then punish it instead of encouraging and expanding it.

So where, 44 years later, can we find the legacy of Apollo 11?

Hopefully, we’ll find that sense of wonder, exploration and accomplishment in our classrooms.

And also hope that other children grow up with the same sense of amazement we all had 44 years ago — in the TV department at Sears.”

Read the article here.

Photo via wikicommons.
Water On the Moon: It's Been There All Along

“Traces of water have been detected within the crystalline structure of mineral samples from the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions, according to a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues.”

External image

(Credit: Photo courtesy of NASA/Johnson Space Center)

The results seem to contradict the predominant lunar formation theory – that the moon was formed from debris generated during a giant impact between Earth and another planetary body, approximately the size of Mars, according to U-M’s Youxue Zhang and his colleagues.

"Because these are some of the oldest rocks from the moon, the water is inferred to have been in the moon when it formed,” Zhang said. “That is somewhat difficult to explain with the current popular moon-formation model, in which the moon formed by collecting the hot ejecta as the result of a super-giant impact of a martian-size body with the proto-Earth.

"Under that model, the hot ejecta should have been degassed almost completely, eliminating all water.”

A paper titled “Water in lunar anorthosites and evidence for a wet early moon” was published online Feb. 17 in the journal Nature Geoscience. The first author is Hejiu Hui, postdoctoral research associate of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences at the University of Notre Dame. Hui received a doctorate at U-M under Zhang, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and one of three co-authors of the Nature Geoscience paper.

Over the last five years, spacecraft observations and new lab measurements of Apollo lunar samples have overturned the long-held belief that the moon is bone-dry.“

Read more…


NASA’s GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map.

Twin NASA probes orbiting Earth’s moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. 

The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved. 

The gravity field map reveals an abundance of features never before seen in detail, such as tectonic structures, volcanic landforms, basin rings, crater central peaks and numerous simple, bowl-shaped craters. Data also show the moon’s gravity field is unlike that of any terrestrial planet in our solar system. 

“What this map tells us is that more than any other celestial body we know of, the moon wears its gravity field on its sleeve,” said GRAIL Principal Investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “When we see a notable change in the gravity field, we can sync up this change with surface topography features such as craters, rilles or mountains." 

Go here to continue reading the article and learn more about the images …

Last Look at Earthrise, 40 Years Later

Forty years ago today, human beings took their last steps on the moon, and had their last look at Earth framed by the lunar horizon. There have been other pictures from the moon since then, of course, but they’ve all been seen secondhand, based on data sent back by robotic probes. No humans have seen an Earthrise like this one with their own eyes since Apollo 17’s crew began their homeward journey on Dec. 14, 1972.

For Andrew Chaikin — author of "A Man on the Moon,” the definitive history of the Apollo moon effort — the 40th anniversary of our lunar farewell is a cause for reflection.“



February’s Full Snow Moon in Images

  1. Snow Moon Taken by Göran Strand 
  2. Snow Moon Taken by Ronald Chapman 
  3. Snow Moon Taken by Kimberly Messer
  4. Full Moon Rising Taken by Rick Stankiewicz
  5. The Full Snow Moon 02-25-2013 Taken by John Chumack

What is a Snow Moon?

In North America’s northern regions, during the month of February the heavier snowfalls of the winter season are known to occur. Consequently, the full moon during this month became traditionally known as the Snow Moon by the Algonquin Native Americans. Other names, inspired by the heavy snowfall that caused increased difficulty for hunting and gathering food, were given to February’s full moon by other Native American tribes. Some of these names included the “Hunger Moon”, as well as “Bone Moon” by the Cherokee Native Americans. 

You can learn more about the Snow Moon, as well as different Full Moon names and their meanings, here, here, and here.

Also check out the Moon Phase Calendar here.


Skywatchers, Get Ready for the Smallest Full Moon of 2012 and the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on November 28.

[The second image shows that on November 28, 2012, the moon will pass through the lighter penumbral shadow of Earth. The last image is a global map showing visibility of penumbral lunar eclipse of November 28, 2012. Image Credit: Fred Espenak]

“The full moon will come during the night tonight (November 27-28, 2012) for us in North America, and it comes with some interesting features. That is, in 2012, the November full moon gives the world its smallest full moon of the year – and in North America, a subtle, penumbral eclipse of the moon before sunrise November 28. Meanwhile, those in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – Europe, Africa, Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand – will see this penumbral lunar eclipse after sunset November 28. There’s more about who will see what at the bottom of this post.

The eclipse computer [Eclipse Computer gives local times of eclipseprovided by the U.S. Naval observatory lets you find out the local times of the eclipse for your time zone. You do not have to translate Universal Time (UT) into your time. Nonetheless, we list the eclipse times in Universal Time (for Wednesday, November 28):

Penumbral eclipse begins: 12:15 Universal Time
Greatest Eclipse: 14:33 UT
Penumbral eclipse ends: 16:51 UT

Although the penumbral eclipse lasts – technically speaking – for over four and one-half hours, you’re only likely to notice a slight shading on the north side of the moon for up to an hour or so, centered at greatest eclipse (14:33 Universal Time). Generally, at least 70% of the moon’s diameter must be immersed within the Earth’s penumbral shadow before the eclipse becomes noticeable. At greatest eclipse on November 28, the penumbral shadow will cover nearly 92% of the moon’s diameter.

People in Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and most of Asia will be on the correct side of Earth to see the eclipse. The western U.S. and Canada will also catch part of it.

The farther west and north you live in North America, the better your chances of catching the subtle shadow on the moon before dawn on November 28. The farther east or north you are in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere, the better are your chances of seeing the penumbral eclipse after nightfall on November 28.

So Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and east Asia will see the entire eclipse on November 28. For western Canada and the western U.S. moonset will happen sometime after mid-eclipse. For eastern Canada and the eastern U.S., the eclipse will begin after moonset. No eclipse on November 28 for you in the east … sorry.


What Happened 2 Hours Ago ?
Full Moon in Full Color

Taken from Coral Towers Observatory around 2300 using two imaging systems

1. Skynyx 2-2 / Astrophysics 150 for luminance data (Mosaic of 9 x 2 Megapixel images; each the best 400/500 subframes)

2. Canon 5D Mk II and 600 mm lens for color data (1 x 22 Megapixel image from a stack of 70 subframes)

Photo was taken 2 hours ago in Cairns North, Cairns, QLD, AU. 

Image Credit : Joseph Brimacombe

Source: Milky way scientists

Baku Moonrise 

Image Credit & CopyrightTunç Tezel (TWAN)

A Full Moon rises in this waterfront scene. Its colorful, watery reflection is joined by harbor lights and a windowed skyscraper’s echo of the western horizon just after sunset. The tantalizing image is a composite of frames recorded at 2 minute intervals on November 28 from the Caspian Sea port city of Baku, Azerbaijan. Still, this Full Moon was not really as big or as bright as others, though it might be hard to tell. In fact, November 28’s Full Moon was near apogee, making it the smallest Full Moon of 2012. As it rose over the Baku boardwalk (along with much of the eastern hemisphere), it was also in the Earth’s lighter or penumbral shadow. The subtle effect of the penumbral lunar eclipse is just discernible as the slightly darker left side of the lunar disk. Opposite the Sun in planet Earth’s sky, the Full Moon was also joined by bright planet Jupiter, only a few days from its own opposition.”

Moon Meets Jupiter - APOD

Image Credit & CopyrightCristian Fattinnanzi

Skygazers around planet Earth enjoyed the close encounter of planets and Moon in July 15's predawn skies. And while many saw bright Jupiter next to the slender, waning crescent, Europeans also had the opportunity to watch the ruling gas giant pass behind the lunar disk, occulted by the Moon as it slid through the night. Clouds threaten in this telescopic view from Montecassiano, Italy, but the frame still captures Jupiter after it emerged from the occultation along with all four of its large Galilean moons. The sunlit crescent is overexposed with the Moon’s night side faintly illuminated by Earthshine. Lined up left to right beyond the dark lunar limb are Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Io, and Europa. In fact, Callisto, Ganymede, and Io are larger than Earth’s Moon, while Europa is only slightly smaller.”


One Year of the Moon in 2.5 Minutes

“This animation shows the geocentric phase, libration, position angle of the axis, and apparent diameter of the Moon throughout the year 2011, at hourly intervals.”