10 posts tagged with moon by filthy light thief.
Displaying 1 through 10 of 10.
The giant impact hypothesis is the most widely supported theory for how the moon was formed, with research in 2014 adding support to this theory over other possibilities. Now UCLA-led research reconstructs a massive crash that took place 4.5 billion years ago (abstract, full article paywalled), supporting the theory that the Moon was produced by a head-on collision between Earth and Theia, a forming planet.
We know space is big, but trying to understand how big is tricky. Say you stare up at the sky and identify stars and constellations in a virtual planetarium, you can't quite fathom how far away all those stars are (previously, twice). Even if you could change your point of view and zoom around in space to really see 100,000 nearby stars (autoplaying ambient music, and there are actually 119,617 stars mapped in 3D space), it's still difficult to get a sense of scale. There's this static image of various items mapped on a log scale from XKCD (previously), and an interactive horizontal journey down from the sun to the heliosphere with OMG Space (previously). You can get a bit more dynamic with this interactive Scale of the Universe webpage (also available in with some variants, if you want the sequel [ previously, twice], the swirly, gravity-optional version that takes some time to load, and the wrong version [previously]), but that's just for the scale of objects, not of space itself. If you want to get spaced out, imagine if If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel, and travel from there (previously). This past March, BBC Future put out a really big infographic, which also takes a moment to load, but then you can see all sorts of things, from the surface of Earth out to the edge of our solar system.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it became possible to believe in the existence of life on other planets on scientific grounds. Once the Earth was no longer the center of the universe according to Copernicus, once Galileo had aimed his telescope at the Moon and found it a rough globe with mountains and seas, the assumption of life on other planets became much less far-fetched. In general there were no actual differences between Earth and Venus, since both planets orbited the Sun, were of similar size, and possessed mountains and an atmosphere. If there is life on Earth, one may ponder why it could not also exist on Venus. In the extraterrestrial life debate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Moon, our closest celestial body, was the prime candidate for life on other worlds, although a number of scientists and scholars also speculated about life on Venus and on other planets, both within our solar system and beyond its frontiers. Venusians: the Planet Venus in the 18th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate (PDF), from The Journal of Astronomical Data (JAD) Volume 19, somewhat via NPR and their mention of amateur astronomer Thomas Dick's estimations of the populations of the other planets in our solar system (Archive.org online view of Celestial scenery, or, The Wonders of the planetary system displayed, 1845).
Japanese Pocari Sweat sports drink is striving to go where no ad has gone before: the moon. Lunar Dream is their campaign to get kids to submit their dreams to include in a "dream capsule," on SpaceX's Falcon 9, as part of the company's first moon landing in October 2015. [more inside]
In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission (Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book (Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998, titled From the Earth to the Moon. [more inside]
The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards, are prizes given for creative achievement in American comic books since 1988. The digital comic category was added in 2005. Some say the category could be expanded, given the abundance of digital creations. Regardless, there are 42 different titles nominated in the past 8 years. The 2013 nominations have been made: Ant Comic, by Michael DeForge (previously, twice) | Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover | It Will All Hurt, by Farel Dalrymple (previously) | Our Bloodstained Roof, by Ryan Andrews (previously) | Oyster War, by Ben Towle. Nominations and winners from prior years inside. [more inside]
A moment of adorable: two year old Kayla can't reach the moon, but that doesn't lessen her interest in it. Kayla's dad shared the video on Reddit, where he got a lot of suggestions for books and items to appease her lunacy, and was invited to tour the NASA facilities in California.
We've seen some gorgeous images (and some videos) of aurora borealis on the blue, but have you seen aurora borealis with a full moon? "The aurora has to be bright and strong to be visible on the blue sky created by the moon. This does not happen so very often, which makes pictures like these extremely rare." [more inside]
The green flash isn't quite the light show that some might imagine, but is still impressive. But sunsets aren't alone in producing the green flash - the flash can also appear above the moon. Up on Cerro Paranal in northern Chile, ESO Photo Ambassador Gerhard Hüdepohl has captured a very clear example of the a green flash above the moon. [more inside]
Where am I now? Travelin' 1.18km/s(2646mph). 70,289km from the Moon. 19 hrs! RU Excited? I am! #lcross
On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and its rocket's Centaur upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper), selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact, a facebook group, and a Twitter feed so you don't miss the moment.