Well folks, I didn’t have a telescope or anything, and it was raining outside, so of course I couldn’t see anything when the space probe LCROSS hit the moon. But, there are images and recording of the event, including the one I saw live. Of course, they didn’t blow up the moon just for the fun of it. They were also doing scientific investigation too, trying to find out the composition of the moon, and find traces of water within it.
Notice the new widget showing the moon phase? Yeah, I got it here. I wanted it to be flash based, but that still did not work out so well. Maybe wordpress doesn’t support flash or something. Oh well. I got the image based one, but it doesn’t tell the time, you can’t see how it would look like in the Southern hemisphere, and there is a part which says “age”, which I don’t know what it is supposed to tell. And even this one seems a little screwed up, oh well… But still, if you are into astronomy, like me, it is a great tool. The moon is a great object to keep track of. It is large and bright enough to see easily where it is and its features, so I love watching and taking pictures of the moon.
(hat tip, where I found the module: NitesSkyGirl)
The longest eclipse of the century already happened. The path it went through was the following:
I found this one pretty picture from the internet:
When more interesting pictures come around, I will update it. I hope my relatives from Korea caught the partial eclipse, although it is doubtful they took a picture… But hey, one can hope! ^_^
I found videos from the blog Visual Astronomy, I will post one of them:
She also posted a very cool picture of the shadow of the moon on Earth, taken by the NOAA:
Plus, a few websites (hat tip from the same blogger)
There are galleries here of the eclipse.
Astronomy picture of the day, a panoramic view.
Also, this blog posted way more extra materials on the solar eclipse than I ever could, so you should check this out too.
Or at least that is what I like to call the time the first human set foot on the moon. ^_^ We should celebrate this amazing achievement due to centuries of gathered knowledge and the people who made such feats possible. While I made an early celebratory post, I found a few neato stuffs elsewhere.
Firstly, Google put up a celebratory logo!
By the way, the letter l is the footprints, just in case you don’ notice it. Plus, google released the moon in Google Earth feature:
Finally, the coolest one of all, is that a NASA mission, LRO space probe took pictures of the landing sites! Those of you who don’t think it is amazing, think about it. It has only been recently that cameras have gotten good enough to take pictures with that high of a resolution. And you have to remember, the probe is high up above the moon! (around 19-124 miles, yeah, they are that exact) They pretty much imaged all of the Apollo landing sites 11-17 (13 is missing because it never made it, basically there was an explosion mid space, fortunately, they made it back safely). My favorite one is this one from Apollo 14, and you can see why:
Note, future images will have even greater resolutions! Plus, they carried over 1.6 million names to outer space!
This leads me to another thought that makes me sad. Certain people are so hung up over their own ways of thinking that no matter how much evidence and logic you throw at them, they won’t ever budge. Those are of course, the moon hoax conspiracists. Even looking at those pictures, they won’t be convinced, because it is not about the truth, but it is about maintaining such beliefs. Which means they will all be missing the beauty of the natural world, science in all of this, the knowledge that has been gathered, and that will be gathered. The greatest achievement in humanity ever is made and basically, this point in history flies by right past their brains. It is kind of like what MIT physicist and lecturer Walter Lewin says the difference between looking and seeing is. Just observing and saying, ”oh, look, it is the moon, awesome” is looking. But there is more to the moon than being round and shiny. Observe closely at the craters, the black areas, and the long history they represent. Watch closely all of those wonderful lunar pheonomena, the phases, how they happen, and how they are inter-related to everything else in this universe. That is indeed truly seeing. For them, though, significance of it is gone, to be replaced by suspicion and mistrust towards the world and the people who worked so hard. It is still bizarre to think that such people exist. Plus, it is sad to think that a person mistrusts the world so much that they have to make things up like these.
Oh, plus, I would like to add my update to the Carnival of Space: 112
As a celebration for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo missions (well almost), I want to post this article of sci am. Well, these days there are a lot of articles on returning to the moon and going to Mars due to the anniversary, but whatever, they are still fascinating articles. It is an article authored by a former Apollo 17 astronaut and only scientist/geologist to go to the moon, Harrison Schmitt, and what was unfortunately the last Apollo mission. Basically, he talks on how astronauts could get to Mars and methods to exploring it, and at the same time, how it is similar/different to going to the moon. While a lot of it is speculative, all achievements begin with great ideas, right? ^_^
Although the mag had an insert at the side which caught my attention. It went like the following:
The Lost Decade
Author Harrison Schmitt has long argued that the cancellation of the Apollo program in 1972 was a costly mistake, and NASA administrator Michael Griffin made the same point in a Mar. 2007 paper. If NASA had stuck with Apollo technology rather than opting to develop a whole new system -The Space Shuttle- even the tight budgets of the time would have been enough to fly four times a year to Earth orbit, expand the Skylab space station and go to the moon twice a year. With incremental improvement, the system could have gone to Mars. “If we had done all this,” Griffin wrote, ” we could be on Mars today, not writing about it as a subject for the next 50 years.
Which in a way makes me sad. I wonder how different things would have been had the program continued. I wonder… Would have arrived Mars by now, or would things have remained the same? And were the space shuttles really necessary in order to bring all of those equipments into space, or could they have done something similar with lower costs? Besides, wasn’t the fact that the shuttles were reusable a good thing? So much questions, so little answers… If I had a crystal ball which could have looked into an alternate future, that would have been cool. ^_^
…in 15 years. According to this. I was outside yesterday, going to school because they had a Christmas party there, and I never really noticed much of a difference. Maybe because I wasn’t focusing on it. I was just “looking” at it, instead of “seeing” it, as professor of MIT Walter Lewin said in one of his lectures. Anyways, the moon was pretty anyways, so it was cool. ^_^ (hat tip: teen skepchick)