Archive: May2014

»It was dark, the moon was shining bright« – a German poem

old-book_198x198There is a German poem called »Dunkel war’s, der Mond schien helle«, in which the first line has been dedicated to the Moon and which boasts special features. For one thing, nobody knows who wrote the poem, which is quite unusual coming from the »land of poets and thinkers«. For another thing, it is based on the principle of the »oxymoron«. This is a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that are contradictory or that are created from terms which are mutually exclusive. Straight away, the first line reveals this principle, because it cannot be »dark«, when the Moon is shining »bright«. [read more] “»It was dark, the moon was shining bright« – a German poem”

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] “The lunar probe LADEE – the sequel”

The Moonlight Topaz

moonlight-topaz_198x198Other than the moonstone, there are more minerals with the Moon being part of their name: the moonlight topaz. The topaz is a compound of aluminum, fluorine and silicon and has the hardness value of 8, on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness from 1 (= selenite) to 10 (= diamond). Which means it is a very hard mineral. Topazes exist worldwide, but most findings originate in Brazil. When conditions are favorable for the growth of this mineral, their weight can easily reach up to 220 lb and more. The biggest topaz that was ever found, was 3.3 ft long and weighed 2.5 tons (Mozambique, Africa). [read more] “The Moonlight Topaz”