Five Moon myths – and how to disprove them yourself

Daniel Brown, Nottingham Trent University This year’s first supermoon will potentially grace the sky on February 9. A supermoon is usually defined as the largest full moon possible. This is a very loose definition and roughly means this happens when the full moon occurs within 10% of its closest to Earth. But in reality, supermoons […]

Planetary confusion: why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

Christopher Palma, Pennsylvania State University As an astronomer, the question I hear the most is why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore? More than 10 years ago, astronomers famously voted to change Pluto’s classification. But the question still comes up.

Apollo 12 and its destination (Moon) in the same photo

NASA has published a beautiful photo of Apollo 12 at the launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39. This historic image, taken on October 28, 1969 (50 years ago) frames the Apollo 12 spacecraft atop the mighty Saturn V rocket and its destination, the Moon, in a single photo.

Watch: ancient distance and apparent size of the Moon

Today, on average, the Moon is 384,400 km (238,000 miles) away from the Earth. But that was not always the case. Our satellite was much closer in the past. Now, Dr. James O’Donoghue (@physicsJ on Twitter) created the animation below showing how close was the Moon to the Earth and how was its apparent size […]

Amazing imagery from JAXA Kaguya/SELENE Lunar Orbiter

The amazing video below is a showcase of spectacular imagery obtained by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Kaguya/SELENE spacecraft which orbited the Moon or a year and eight months and returned stunning views from its HDTV camera suite. A must-watch!

Terrascope: Turning Earth into a giant telescope

We can turn Earth into a giant telescope. According to a recent study titled “The ‘Terrascope’: On the Possibility of Using the Earth as an Atmospheric Lens”, published by David Kipping of Columbia University, our planet offers an opportunity for pronounced lensing.

How to build a moon base

Ian Whittaker, Nottingham Trent University and Gareth Dorrian, University of Birmingham Half a century after humans first walked on the moon, a number of private companies and nations are planning to build permanent bases on the lunar surface. Despite the technological progress since the Apollo era, this will be extremely challenging. So how should you […]