October 24, 2017

Astronomy Video of the Week: Apollo 11 in a Minute

Earth from the Moon.

(Image credit: NASA/Apollo 11)

Wanna see something cool? Recently, NASA put its entire archive of Apollo era images – more than 10,000+ and counting – on Flickr. An amazing treasure-trove, space fans have dived in, with amazing results. There are lots of images I’d never seen before, as well. Folks have been cranking out some cool short animations too.   The good folks over at the Planetary Society put together one honorable mention: a video montage that depicts the entire Apollo 11 mission from Earth departure, to lunar ops and return in just one minute, using photographs from the mission: [Read more...]

Astro-Event: The Craters of Apollo 11.

The region of the Apollo 11 craters (see below).

Photo by Author.

Recently, we wrote about the “Stars of Apollo 1” and how those astronauts who perished in the fire on Pad 34 were memorialized in the sky by their own hand. This week, we thought we’d draw your attention moonward and bring you next week’s astro-event a few days early to honor the passing of a hero. We’ve wanted to write on the craters named after the Apollo 11 astronauts for some time. Located in the southwestern corner of the Mare Tranquillitatis (The Sea of Tranquility), these three craters named Aldrin, Collins, & Armstrong sit in the general area that Neil Armstrong took his footsteps on the Moon, the first human being to do so on July 20th, 1969. [Read more...]

12.04.11: The Weigh-in on Wassonite.

A sliver of Wassonite… (Credit: NASA/JSC).

Sometimes, it pays to go back and take a peek at old samples with new equipment. Recently, NASA scientists working in collaboration with South Korean and Japanese researchers have announced the discovery of Wassonite (rhymes with the fictional Kryptonite!) a mineral with a crystalline structure and composition unseen on Earth. The sample comes from a meteorite dubbed Yamato 691, an enstatite chondrite recovered from the Antarctic continent in 1969. [Read more...]

Review: From Earth to the Moon.

A few years back, I unearthed a hidden gem at Zia Records in Tucson, my all time favorite of a dying breed, the local record store. That gem was HBO’s From Earth to the Moon box set, and it is still well worth hunting down. Hosted by Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, it originally ran as a twelve part mini series covering the US space program through the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo series of missions. Now that Apollo 11s’ 40th is winding down, (will anybody mark the splashdown?) the LRO and LCROSS satellites are in lunar orbit, and the Ares X-1 is ramping up for its first test flight later this year, its a good time to reflect on how we got here. [Read more...]

LRO/LCROSS: Back to the Moon.

A quiet storm began last month at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. On June 18th, 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) lifted off towards our nearest neighbor, the Moon. This marks the first of NASA’s unmanned missions that will herald the eventual return of man to the Moon. As this month also marks the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 landing, this return couldn’t be more timely. [Read more...]

Review: Moon Landing: the 40th Anniversary Pop-Up!

 

 

Pop-up books are one of the great guilty pleasures of life. Designed for kids, it is often adults that can be found fascinated with them after bedtime. Nothing illustrates ideas and concepts better in a graphical format. And they’re just plain fun, to boot!

Think you know everything about the Apollo missions? Leave it to a simple pop-up book to teach us otherwise…. [Read more...]