Archive: December 2013

The »moonwalk« dance move

»Moonwalk« is a dance technique which fakes a forward motion by moving legs and feet, while in reality you are moving backwards. This is how the illusion is created that the floor is pulling away in a gliding motion, underneath the feet of the dancer. No other name can be more closely connected to this move than the name of Michael Jackson (who was born on 29th August 1958 on a full moon). Even though he is not the founder, in this case, one can refer to him as the figurehead. The key moment was Jackson’s performance of »Billie Jean« at the anniversary celebration »Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever« in 1983. From this moment on, the moonwalk’s triumph was not to be stopped and Michael Jackson had shaped his signature move. [read more]

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Jules Verne’s journeys to the Moon

It is fascinating how the French writer Jules Verne (1828–1905) envisaged the journey to the Moon 100 years in advance in his science fiction novels and was able to put it into words. Admittedly, he was quite taken with describing journeys to unimaginable places: from the deep sea (»20,000 Leagues Under the Sea«), via the circumnavigation of the Earth (»Around the World in 80 Days«) through to the interior of the Earth (»Journey to the Center of the Earth«). Of course, space had to be part of this and this is how Jules Verne firstly wrote the novel »From the Earth to the Moon« (»De la Terre à la Lune«, 1865) and then later the sequel »Around the Moon« (»Autour de la Lune«, 1870). [read more]

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Chinese moon landing in sight

After USA and the Soviet Union, China will be the third nation in the world travelling to the Moon with their space program, and they will probably land there with the astronauts as well in the long term. At the moment, an unmanned spaceship »Chang’e-3« (moon fairy) is on its way to the Moon since 1st December 2013, planning to land in the Mare Ibrium on 14th December and supposed to transport a rover for research purposes of the Moon’s surface. The vehicle is called »Yutu« (jade rabbit). [read more]

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Moon rock

Our Moon consists of rock, which was formed newly during its creation through a collision between the Earth and another planet, around 4.5 billion years ago. Lunar maria were created through meteoroid impacts, which can be seen as dark spots if observed from Earth.

A small amount of these rocks are on Earth. One part stems from a variety of moon missions (Apollo and Luna), the other from meteorites that struck the Earth as fragments.  If you add up the registered mass of these rocks, you’ll end up with 738 kg (1,627 pounds). Which is actually »just a grain of rice« in comparison to the 81,000,000,000,000 kg that our Moon weighs. [read more]

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