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Posts Tagged "moon"

Anecdotes from the Archive

Picture the Moon: A Look Back at Lunar Photographs

full moon

While astrophotography has become more detailed and enriched in the last 50 years with the invention of things like color filters and digital processing, early lunar images offer more beauty and sense of wonder to the viewer. These photographs from the March 19th, 1904, issue of Scientific American  conjur feelings of curiosity for a reader, [...]

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Illusion Chasers

The Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Death: An Illusion Tribute

Neil Armstrong

Two hours before the historic lunar landing, Neil Armstrong mentally composed the first words to be said on the Moon: “It’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. That’s not the same sentence that is in the history books.

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Life, Unbounded

‘Jade Rabbit’ is on the Moon

Sinus Iridum

At 1.11pm UTC today (8.11 am EST) the Chang’e-3 mission made a successful soft landing in an area toward the edge of the Sinus Iridum and Mare Imbrium – shown in this image by the red flag. That’s on the nearside of the moon – marked in a red ellipse in the figure below. Next [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Extraordinary Footage From Starship Juno

Earth seen from the Juno mission (NASA, Oct 2013)

A starship comes tearing through the solar system, its sensors capturing a brief glimpse of the inner planets. A small blue-green world spins while its tiny dark moon gyrates around it. And then all is gone. Left behind for eternity as this interstellar voyager speeds on to the gaping void that is the rest of [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Moon Is Not Black And White, It Just Looks That Way

Apollo 17 (NASA)

Hands up if you think about the Moon in black and white? Yes – well, you’re not alone, and there’s actually good reason for you to, because the surface of the Moon is nearly devoid of strong colors in comparison to what we’re used to here on Earth. Someone (a junior member of my family) [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Dirtiest Lunar Mystery Of All

It's filthy work, but someone has to do it...(NASA/Apollo)

                      There may be something funny going on with the stuff covering the Moon, and a new NASA mission launching next month is aiming to solve the mystery. Gaze up at a brilliant Moon in the night sky and it’s hard to imagine that our [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Moon has it all: Explosions, Water, and Clues to the Grand Tack

Our high wilderness (Credit: T.A.Rector, I.P.Dell'Antonio/NOAO/AURA/NSF)

It’s only 240,000 miles away, yet this high wilderness still surprises and delights with clues about the origins of the solar system, Earth’s own water, and it even  supplies the occasional brilliant explosion. If you’ve been paying attention recently you’ll have noticed that the Moon is getting a lot of press. One reason is that [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Solar Eclipse Coincidence

Annular eclipse (Credit: sancho_panza)

When the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon this Sunday, for many observers across much of the world it will be temporarily replaced by a beautiful ring of fire – a brilliant annulus of stellar plasma just peeking out around the dark lunar disk. This doesn’t always happen, partial solar eclipses merely trim away a [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Tick Tock: the connection between celestial mechanics and genetics

Astronomical Clock in Prague (Maros Mraz)

Sitting below the swirling leaves and darkening skies of New York today I realized that yet again our planet is roaring up on perihelion at 30 kilometers a second. This means that in about three weeks those of us in the United States will be shifting our clocks back an hour (after due reverence for [...]

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Observations

China Moon Rover Landing Marks a Space Program on the Rise

China

China cemented its reputation as the fastest rising star on the space scene this weekend by landing a rover on the moon—a challenging feat pulled off by only two nations before: the U.S. and the Soviet Union. “This is a very big deal indeed,” says lunar scientist Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute [...]

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Observations

The Continuing Mystery of the Moon Illusion [Video]

The harvest moon is almost upon us—specifically, September 19. It’s the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and it has deep significance in our cultural histories. Namely, it enabled our ancestral farmers to toil longer in the fields. (Today, electricity enables us to toil longer in the office—thanks, Tom Edison.) One enduring belief is [...]

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Observations

Neptune’s New Moon May Be Named after One of Sea God’s Monstrous Children

Neptune's new moon

This past Monday, the planet Neptune officially got a new moon, a relatively tiny chunk of rock and ice about as wide as Manhattan is long. The object is currently dubbed S/2004 N 1, and it’s the fourteenth now known to circle that distant icy world. Mark Showalter, a researcher at the SETI Institute in [...]

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Observations

NASA Probes to Crash into Lunar Mountain Monday Afternoon

Topo map of the lunar mountain where GRAIL will crash-land

The slope of an unnamed mountain near the moon’s north pole will be the final destination for NASA’s twin GRAIL spacecraft, which are scheduled to crash into the lunar surface at high speed today. The impacts are planned for 5:28 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. The twin probes, nicknamed Ebb and Flow, have orbited the moon [...]

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Observations

The Forgotten JFK Proposal: A Joint U.S.-Soviet Moon Landing [Video]

JFK giving moon speech at Rice University.

We all learned that President John F. Kennedy launched the U.S. effort to land the first men on the moon. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” he famously stated in his Rice University speech in 1962. [...]

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Observations

Forget Asteroids—Send a Manned Flyby Mission to Venus

Wikimedia Commons NASA/Image processing by R. Nunes

  Recently, I received a press release from the American Museum of Natural History on their excellent exhibit about the future of space exploration. I did a quick word search: “Mars” got 14 hits; “asteroid” 12; “moon/lunar” 11; “Europa” and “Jupiter” a total of four. A check of “Venus” came up empty. Considering that all [...]

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Observations

China’s space program continues its ascent with launch of a second unmanned moon mission

China

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has circled the moon since 2009, is about to have some company. China launched its second lunar orbiter, known as Chang’e 2, on October 1, according to state-owned media reports. The probe lifted off just before 7:00 P.M. local time from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province aboard [...]

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Observations

Newfound lunar landforms point to moon’s recent shrinkage

Thrust fault scarps on the moon as seen by LRO

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that people often shrink a bit as they age. But we can at least take solace in the fact that the moon, too, seems to be have gotten a bit smaller of late. New imagery from a NASA spacecraft suggests that the moon may have contracted somewhat in relatively [...]

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Observations

LCROSS impact plumes contained moon water, NASA says

Cabeus crater LCROSS

A spacecraft that performed a choreographed, two-part dive into the lunar surface in October churned up detectable levels of water ice, NASA announced Friday. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, chased a spent Centaur rocket stage toward the moon to observe the booster’s impact into a permanently shadowed crater known as Cabeus [...]

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PsiVid

The Last Man on the Moon

BeanTracyRockThumbnail

It’s no secret, I’m a space geek. And the other non-secret is I love when a good space travel book is turned into a movie. Astronaut Gene Cernan is known for being “The Last Man on the Moon” as he was the last man to walk on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission. Even [...]

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Symbiartic

Jade Rabbit Goes to Sleep

Erica_Glasier_Jade_Rabbit_m

  Good night, Jade Rabbit. Erica Glasier created this wonderful storybook animated gif of China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover. All the feels. Sniffle. Jade Rabbit, or yutu, has been malfunctioning and I can’t think of any better way to explain its adventure to a child than this. Could we get an entire lightly-animated ebook of [...]

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Symbiartic

Turns Out There IS Something New Under the Sun

13-039FEATURE

If there is anything new under the sun it has to be this – and delightfully, it’s the domain of the moon. This spectacular table by Adrien Segal captures tidal data collected from San Francisco Bay for the duration of a full lunar cycle, 29 days in April and May of 2006. I’m rarely rendered [...]

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Symbiartic

Click! Onomatopoeia For Your Eyes

13-025FEATURE

Whiz, BAM! Boom. Remember onomatopoeia from fifth grade English class? Well here’s a treat for your eyes, a sort of visual onomatopoeia where designer Ji Lee twists letters and words into visual representations of their meanings: These images are taken from Ji Lee’s book, Word As Image: a collection of 90 altered words, examples of [...]

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Symbiartic

The Coolest Photo My iPhone Never Took

moon photo

Alex Wild over at Compound Eye is quick to point out with his Thrifty Thursday posts that great photos can be taken with relatively inexpensive equipment… IF you know what you’re doing. Here’s a great case in point: A few nights ago, I was strolling along a pedestrian mall in Boulder, CO with some friends. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Sunday Photoblogging: Full Moon

It was a uniquely clear night in Los Angeles, so I thought I’d try to get a shot of the full moon. Taken March 8, 2012, at 11:06pm. Speaking of full moons, here’s a fun piece from the archives: Real Life Werewolves? Dog Bites and Full Moons

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The Thoughtful Animal

Real Life Werewolves? Dog Bites and Full Moons

DogFullMoonsqGMellow

Happy Halloween! I decided to revise and repost this piece from November 1, 2010, on dog bites, full moons, and confirmation bias. Click the archives icon to see the original post. Our story begins in March 2000, when Dr. Simon Chapman and colleagues from the University of Sydney published a paper in which they assessed [...]

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