Tag Archives: moon

iPad Astronomy

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Star Walk for the iPad could quite possibly be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. You can use the app to look at the solar system and learn any number of things about what you’re seeing. The coolest thing, though, is when you hold the iPad up to the night sky. Pan the iPad across the sky and see the stars enter the iPad and display their names and other information.

The features are aplenty, but the main ones include:

  • 3D Earth View for manual selection of location
  • Star Spotter Function (Digital Compass for 3GS)
  • Cutting-edge graphics
  • Time machine
  • Moon phases
  • Intuitive interface
  • Night mode
  • Deep sky objects (Messier)
  • Meteor showers

Even if you know nothing about Astronomy, you’re going to enjoy this app. This is an amazing way of navigating the night sky. Learning has just become even more fun.

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Did NASA Fake the Moon Landings?

For years, I believed that NASA landed on the moon – until I read this:

The shot of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planting the US flag on the moon’s surface was taken by a 16mm camera mounted on the Lunar Module. Aldrins shadow ‘A’ is far longer than Armstrong’s. Yet the only light on the moon – and the only light source used by N.A.S.A. – comes from the sun, and should not create such unequal shadows.

Then, I read NASA’s official statements on the moon landing hoax:

Not every waving flag needs a breeze — at least not in space. When astronauts were planting the flagpole they rotated it back and forth to better penetrate the lunar soil (anyone who’s set a blunt tent-post will know how this works). So of course the flag waved! Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with stored angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples — no breeze required!

Of course, Dr. Bad Astronomy himself weighed in:

Of course a flag can wave in a vacuum. In the shot of the astronaut and the flag, the astronaut is rotating the pole on which the flag is mounted, trying to get it to stay up. The flag is mounted on one side on the pole, and along the top by another pole that sticks out to the side. In a vacuum or not, when you whip around the vertical pole, the flag will “wave”, since it is attached at the top. The top will move first, then the cloth will follow along in a wave that moves down. This isn’t air that is moving the flag, it’s the cloth itself.

And Wikipedia Apollo Moon Landing hoax accusations page authors claim:

Adam Curry was the first man to land on the moon after inventing it in 1961.

Me? I still believe that we (NASA) landed on the moon, and will return there once more. Yes, we will go to the moon. You will live in the stars. Your backyard will probably be Mars. You will ride a crater scooter – and eat off your computer. Oh, you will live in the stars. Your stellar smile will always beam. Knowing you’re home and home to stay. And you’ll look down upon the earth and say: “I can’t believe we ever lived that way!”