Posts Tagged ‘outer space’

Moonbow and Rainbows Over Patagonia

August 24, 2009



Cosmos by Carl Sagan

August 1, 2009

It’s on hulu! I’m so stoked about this. I used to watch this show all the time back in the day, and now I can watch it any time I want.

WordPress is being a buttface and won’t let me embed the video, even with the proper html, so here’s a link and a suave pic of Dr. Sagan.


Nerd Alert: Going Back to the Moon

July 21, 2009

Yesterday was the fortieth anniversary of the moon landing, which renewed a lot of public interest in space travel. I like to regularly check in on and any sort of news articles posted in regard to these subjects, and thought McJAWN readers would be interested in the exciting projects going on today.


Going Back to the Moon
NASA has some exciting plans, and they involve not only going back to the moon, but staying there for weeks or even months. The image above is an artist’s rendering of what the Constellation project will look like. This endeavor was launched in 2004 and hopes to see us back by 2020. The major issue with such an ambitious project is being able to transport the high volume of supplies necessary, including food, water, and fuel, but keeping all of this lightweight. They also need the technologies necessary to create habitats on the surface of the moon, and the currents rockets and shuttles we have can’t transport all of this. The new rockets, Ares I and Ares V, are being made larger, longer, and lighter.


Another major issue with this project is funding. Things are very different from how it was during the Apollo launches. The country was excited about space travel. During the first launch coverage went uninterrupted for 30 straight hours, and everyone was watching. With each mission people got less and less interested, and by the last Apollo mission in 1972 networks stopped doing full coverage. Without public interest, the government will not push to expand their budget, which is tough for projects that cost tens of billions of dollars.


Even with these issues the project is not a distant dream. The new spacesuits will be lighter, able to recycle sweat and urine back into water, have fuel cells for power, and will be made of materials that resist the wear and tear of lunar dust (a major problem the first time around). The rockets are better too. With the size increase and smaller computers that can do more, we’ll be able to bring six astronauts onto the surface of the moon, as opposed to two who land and one who stayed in orbit. We have it all planned out (which you can see in this animation), and all we need to do is make it happen.

For more info:

x-posted to McJAWN

We’re losing the stars

March 22, 2009


See Orion up there?  I like to think of him as a good friend.  No matter where I travel, I always will have him there at night looking down on me.  Because of light pollution we could be losing him.

According to United Nations, 2008 is the first year 3.3 billion people are living in cities.  Because of this congregation of people in small spaces the light pollution is getting worse than ever.  In order to research patterns of light pollution across the planet, GLOBE has organized GLOBE at Night, a week long observation of Orion from March 16th to the 28th.

From the GLOBE website: “Participants simply choose a clear night on which stars are visible, take measurements of stars in this portion of the sky using GLOBE’s Magnitude Charts, and enter observations into the GLOBE at Night Web site. Students — alongside teachers, parents and community members– amass a data set from which they can begin to explore the concept of light pollution and to research the patterns of light pollution across the globe.

You can enter your observations on the GLOBE at Night Report web page from 16 March – 7 April.”