Tag: Science

Dependent on or independent of the Moon?

chain_198x198Suitable for today’s 4th July, »Independence Day« in the US, and moreover it being the new moon, we pose the question of the dependency or independency of the Moon. Are we dependent on the Moon or not? And is the Moon dependent on us?

If we believe the surveys, more than 40% of people feel influenced by the Moon, in particular during sleep. In other ways as well and the influence of the Earth’s moon is being discussed in many areas, although there is still no evidence. Science rather confirms the opposite and verifies this by referring to various studies that the human is independent of the Moon; however, this does not correspond with the basic feelings of most. [read more]

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The lunar plaques and other messages to the universe

earth_198x198Are we alone in the universe? Are there other intelligent forms of life in space or are we alone? These questions have been on mankind’s mind, since we consciously reflect our existence and raise our gaze toward the starlit sky.

With the beginning of space travel, there arose the idea, of sending messages to potential extraterrestrial life. The question, which information is suitable, a representative picture of the entire human race and their lives on planet Earth, is particularly exciting. [read more]

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The »golden handle« of the Moon

golden-handle_198x198When the sunlight appears on the Moon’s surface in a flat angle, interesting lighting effects are created, due to the mountains and valleys, which can be observed quite well from the Earth. A well-known effect is the so called »golden handle«. This is when the Jura Mountains (»Montes Jura«) are illuminated 4 to 5 days before the full moon and appear as a bright arc, in front of the still darkened Sea of Showers (»Sinus Iridum«) of the Mare Imbrium. This is reinforced by the fact that the boundary of light and shadow, which is called »terminator«, runs directly through this area. [read more]

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Luna 2 – the first space probe on the Moon

luna2_198x198Luna 2 was a Soviet space probe that impacted the Moon on  13th/14th September 1959. Space probes are unmanned flying objects that are used for exploration. In this case, it was about exploring the Moon, with the goal to fly a human to the Moon and have them return safely. History shows that this did not become possible until ten years later, with the moon landing of Neil Armstrong within the framework of the Apollo 11 mission, in July 1969. [read more]

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»Rupes Recta« – a line on the Moon

rupes-recta_198x198»Rupes Recta« is the name for a long line, which is visible on the Moon’s surface. The name derives from Latin and means »straight fault«, but due to its prominent shape, it is also called »Sword of the Moon«.

Rupes Recta is located at the edge of the lunar mare Mare Nubium and is one of the best known escarpments of the Moon. It is more than 60 miles long, with a width of 1–2 miles and a height of around 800 feet. [read more]

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Moonquakes

seismograph_198x198By analogy with earthquakes on the Earth, there are so called »moonquakes« on the Moon. By that, we are referring to tremors on the Moon. The astronauts of the five Apollo missions in 1969 to 1972, left seismographs on the Moon, to measure these seismic waves. Afterwards, all data had been sent back to Earth until 1977 and analyzed. [read more]

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Moon trees

moon-tree_198x198Even though the idea would be wonderful: this is not about trees that grow on the Moon, but about trees on Earth that grew from seeds, which orbited the Moon exactly 34 times, in a small canister, during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. For this joint project by NASA and USFS (US Forest Service), the astronaut Stuart Rosa took hundreds of tree seeds with him on this journey. Seeds of five different species of tree had been chosen: loblolly pine, sycamore, sweetgum, redwood and douglas fir. The seeds survived the weightlessness and also when the canister that contained the seeds, got destroyed in the vacuum of the decontamination chamber. The seeds had to be picked up individually after this incident. [read more]

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Is the Moon round?

moon-orange_198x198When looking up to the full moon, you see a sphere and there is no doubt: the Moon has to be round. And we assume quite simply that a sphere is orbiting our Earth. This is correct indeed, if taking a lax approach in the definition of a sphere. The Moon is spherical, but differs considerably from the perfect shape. On the one hand it is flattened at the North Pole and South Pole, and on the other hand, its reverse side, which is turned away from the Earth, is convexed outwardly. [read more]

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Water on the Moon

shackleton_198x198The exploration of foreign celestial bodies is particularly interesting for science, when there is the possibility of life could exist. An important condition for this provides the evidence of water (mostly in frozen form, because it contains oxygen).   One may simply say that where water exists, life could develop, or is already present. [read more]

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The lunar probe LADEE – the sequel

ladee2_198x198As reported back in September 2013, NASA sent the lunar probe LADEE (short for: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) into space, to circle and to explore the Moon. Especially, the formation of ice at the lunar poles has been of great interest. The space probe also collected measurement data of dust particles and gases that are close to the Moon’s surface. [read more]

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The moon jellyfish

moon-jellyfish_198x198Jellyfish are fascinating beings and although, nobody would actually like to come into contact with them, we are mesmerized by them and admire their shapes, colors and almost etheric bodies, which are floating through the water – like entities from another world. And lo behold, there is also one kind that the Moon lent his name to: the »moon jellyfish« (lat. aurelia aurita).

Also in various other languages, you can find the word »moon« in the name these jellyfish: [read more]

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Flags on the Moon

flag_198x198There are currently precisely six American flags on the Moon, which were left behind by the respective astronauts at the moon landings of the Apollo missions 11,12,14,15,16, and 17. The flag of the Apollo 11 mission led the way. On 21st July 1969 at 03:56 am (CET), Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot onto our Moon and spoke the legendary sentence: »That’s one small step for (a) man … one … giant leap for mankind«. Together with his colleague Buzz Aldrin, he then planted the first flag on the Moon, which was apparently not so easy, due to the space suits, the pole rods and the condition of the ground. [read more]

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The Moon – smaller than a thumb …

thumb_198x198Again and again it is spoken about the Moon in the night sky, and the visible size for us here from Earth and we would like to recall some details or outline and summarize them again:

The Sun and the Moon about the same size in the sky
The full moon in the sky appears to have almost the same size as the Sun by day, because the Sun is approx. 400 times as large as the Moon, but also 400 times further away. So it balances itself out and this is how these two very different sized orbs appear to be of the same magnitude to us. [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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The lunar probe LADEE

The lunar probe »LADEE« (short for: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) of the American space agency NASA, launched successfully into space, for further exploration of the Moon. A probe is an unmanned flying object, which can fly through space or circle orbs and thereby sends data to Earth via radio. [read more]

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Lunula – Little Moon

After we have already mentioned the lunate bone, one of the eight human carpal bones, which has been named after the Moon, due to its sickle shape, we would like to take another look at the human hand – this time at the fingernails. Lo and behold: here too, the name was inspired by the Moon. The white area of the nail, shaped like a half-moon is called »lunula« (lat. little moon) and incidentally, can be found on toenails as well. The lunula is differently pronounced with every human being, with some you may only see it on the thumb, with others you can see it on all fingers and toes. [read more]

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The lunate bone

There is actually a bone inside the human body, which is called »lunate bone«. Indeed, it may not belong to the most important of the 206 bones that a grown man carries around with him, but the name alone makes it remarkable. The lunate bone is one of the eight carpal bones, being the bones that connect the hand with the forearm. The lunate bone (lat.: os lunatum) was given his name because of its crescent shape. [read more]

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A lunar base via 3D printer

A 3D Printer is a device with which you can print three-dimensional objects. This may initially sound strange, but will become obvious once you know that the objects can be built in layers. The printer applies the relevant materials instead of ink (i.e. plastic) and consequently forms the result.

Because these printers are now available for consumers at normal prices, in the future, we will purchase merely printing data instead of the product. So this trend actually moves away from mass-market productions and towards individualized items. [read more]

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Selenography – maps of the Moon

Looking at the Moon, you can recognise the spots on the surface with the naked eye, which are termed lunar maria and have always been inspiring people’s imagination. It is actually molten rock that rose to the surface during the origin of the Moon and then hardened. If looked at closer and using a telescope as an aid, you are able to make out mountains and valleys and a large amount of craters. In short: they are landscapes that give our Moon its face. [read more]

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Not more accidents at the full moon!

Especially, because many people report that they are a bit
»out of it« at the full moon, it seems natural to think that more accidents could happen during this time. There are several studies [*], which have carefully examined both, the full moon and also other moon phases with the continuous identical result: no recognisable correlation between the moon events and accidents. [read more]

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