lunar science

Consider this: You can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 km/sec across the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.” The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photo-receptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it.
—  NASA Lunar Science Institute, 2012

A ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse is a rare phenomenon that occurs when the moon’s orbit is at its apogee: the part of its orbit farthest away from the Earth. Because the moon is so far away, it seems smaller than normal to the human eye. The result is that the moon doesn't entirely block out our view of the sun, but leaves an “annulus,” or ring of sunlight glowing around it. Hence the term  “annular” eclipse rather than a “total” eclipse.

There’s going to be a lunar eclipse before the solar eclipse

  • It’s a good month for celestial events. There’s the Perseid meteor shower, peaking Aug. 12. Then there’s the total solar eclipse crossing the U.S. on Aug. 21 and treating the rest of the country to a partial solar eclipse.
  • But thanks to a beautiful piece of astronomical geometry, there’s another display to catch: a partial lunar eclipse sweeping across parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia on Aug. 7.
  • Even if you aren’t in position to see it yourself, you can watch the spectacle via a livestream. The stream will gather footage from across the eclipse’s path starting at 11:45 a.m. Eastern.
  • Although this eclipse won’t be a particularly impressive one, it actually makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about what’s actually happening in the solar system: The Earth, moon and sun are lining up. Read more (8/7/17)

A full moon, lunar eclipse and comet may all be visible on Friday

  • A full moon, lunar eclipse and a comet may all be visible to much of the world Friday night if the skies are clear.
  • Early in the night, the snow moon will pass into the Earth’s penumbra, shading part of it.
  • A few hours later, the bright green comet 45P will shoot past the Earth.
  • Though penumbral eclipses are typically not as noticeable as total lunar eclipses, the moon is expected to pass so deeply into the Earth’s shadow that it will appear far darker than usual.
  • The green comet, which visits our neck of the solar system every five years, will whiz within 7.7 million miles of Earth at a speedy clip of about 14.2 miles per second.
  • Most of the world — except for Australia, New Zealand, parts of East Asia and Hawaii — will be able to see the eclipse. Read more (2/9/17 3:30 PM)

follow @the-future-now

Ok so I never really identified much with Scarlet until I stumbled across this fan art on pinterest:

and for reference, this is what I look like

I think my favorite thing about the TLC series is that there is so much diversity in the characters in both their physical appearance AND their personalities and they change so much throughout each book so it’s soo easy to find a character that you relate to.

I love Scarlet for her “I’m not putting up with your shit today” attitude but socially, I feel like I am more like Cress. Scarlet is very short-fused, while Cress is quiet and curious. But when Scarlet is in an uncomfortable situation, I totally get that “I want to disappear under big comfy clothes and hope that no one will notice me” feeling.

basically The Lunar Chronicles is just an amazing series and you should all read it.

BY THE WAY, I am 90% done reading Cress, and if ANY of you spoil ANYTHING that happens in the rest of the books, I will end you.

Astronaut Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module pilot for the Apollo 12 lunar landing mission, holds a container filled with lunar soil collected while exploring the lunar surface. Astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr., commander, who took this picture, is reflected in the helmet visor.

Credits: NASA


New radar technique locates lost Indian Lunar orbiter, NASA probe.

Using previously untested radar techniques, NASA has successfully located two Lunar-orbiting spacecraft, one of which has not been tracked since 2009.

Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California beamed high energy microwaves at the Moon from the Goldstone Deep Space Communications complex in California. The waves bounced off the Moon and were picked up by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. By using the return signal to estimate velocity and distance, JPL scientists were able to locate NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter – which is still operating and is currently tracked by the agency.

However, the team also located India’s derelict Chandrayaan-1orbiter whose mission ended in 2009. Due to regions of the lunar surface with a stronger gravitational pull than others – known as mascons – the spacecraft’s orbit could have been radically altered or it could have even crashed into the moon.

Since the spacecraft was known to be in a Lunar polar orbit, the team directed the microwave beam just above the Lunar north pole and hoped the spacecraft would intercept it. The returned beam picked had a radar signature in accordance to what a small spacecraft wold be expected to make. Furthermore, during the four hours the Chandrayaan-1 test took place, the spacecraft crossed the beam twice in the amount of time it was predicted to make a single orbit and return to the same point. Due to the varying strength of the Moon’s gravity over regions of different composition – known as mascons – the spacecraft’s location had to be shifted by nearly 180 degrees.

Scientists were not certain if the tests, which occurred in July 2016, would be successful. Although interplanetary radar has been used to track asteroids millions of miles away using the same technique to locate a small satellite around the moon was untried. The technology demonstrated could be useful in planning future lunar missions. The Indian Space Research Organization has no intention to reactivate the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, whose mission ended in 2009.  Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first Lunar mission, launching in October 2008.