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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

moon

Patrick Stewart Plays Sad Dying Moon Rover In Career High on The Daily Show

A couple days ago we brought you the story of China’s Jade Rabbit, the little moon rover that couldn’t, so Chinese authorities delivered a heartbreaking farewell address for it. Patrick Stewart and The Daily Show have combined forces to give the that brave little toaster a proper send off. With cardboard costumes.

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Today in Depressing

China’s Moon Robot Tweets Sadly About its Imminent Demise; It is an Interesting Future We Live In

To be fair, China’s Yutu rover, or Jade Rabbit, isn’t dead yet. It’s just unlikely to survive the lunar night due to a malfunction. Since discovering the problem last week, Chinese scientists have remained bleak about the rover’s chances. An update on Thursday reaffirmed that we won’t know for sure whether the little (okay maybe not that little) robot will make it for a few weeks.

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Power Grid

13 Independent Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies You Need To Watch

When it comes to film, we write about the big dogs a lot here at The Mary Sue. Your Marvel and DC movies. Your Stars Trek and Wars. Whatever fairy tales are being rebooted by major studios at any given time.

And those are (or can be) good. Great, even. But there’s a special place in my heart for indie movies, and there always has been. Independent moviemakers have more leeway to do interesting, creative things than their studio counterparts. To that end, here are my suggestions for 15 Independent Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies You Need To Watch. (I’ve noted which are on Netflix Instant, because if you’re a fellow movie nerd I’ve got your back.)

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Almost Totally Excellent

NASA Uses a Laser to Sends the Mona Lisa to the Moon Because SCIENCE!

No, Dean from The Iron Giant. Not because, ART, because SCIENCE. NASA recently tested out a system of transmitting data by laser beam to their satellite currently orbiting the Moon, an experiment that gathered vital information on the interference of Earth’s atmosphere and its effect on the fidelity of such communications. But they couldn’t just send any old thing to the moon, no. They sent the Mona Lisa. Explanatory video below:

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It Belongs in a Museum!

Missing Moon Rocks Returned to Their Rightful Home: Alaska, Also Deadliest Catch Is Connected

There are so few moon rocks (that is, rocks from the Moon. Confusing, I know) on Earth that they’re considered priceless. Twenty years ago, 0.2 grams of lunar rock sold at auction for more than four hundred thousand dollars. There are indeed many tiny pieces of lunar rock in the possession of various museums and governments around the world, and only partially because of the goodwill rock, a specimen chosen specifically by the astronauts of Apollo 17, the last Apollo mission, to be broken up and distributed with a piece for 135 nations, and every U.S. state and territory.

But when that happened, Alaska already had their moon rocks. But then in 1973 they literally lost them in a fire.

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It Came From Outer Space

NASA Prepares For Annoying Space Tourists

Although it’s been a few years since Lance Bass tried to travel to outer space, and it will probably be a few years until space tourism is viable, NASA is already looking into ways to preserve and protect U.S. lunar artifacts from unruly tourists. You know, the ones that wear fanny packs and touch things they’re not supposed to?

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Not a Misprint

NASA To The World: Don’t Tread On Our Parts Of The Moon

Science-fiction has long held onto the notion that colonization of Earth’s Moon was inevitable. Turns out they were probably right but before you strap on your personalized rocket to set up your new vacation getaway, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would like a word with you. 

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It Came From Outer Space

Photos of Sunday’s Annular Eclipse: The Ring of Fire

As many of you have no doubt gathered, The Mary Sue is a blog based on the east coast of the United States, and a such we are all very jealous of the western US and Pacific areas who got treated to a gorgeous annular eclipse this weekend. What’s an annular eclipse? Well, it’s a certain kind of solar eclipse, i.e., one where the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, and casts its shadow on the Earth’s surface. Now, the Moon is way, way smaller than the Sun, and even though it’s also way, way closer to the Earth than the Sun, it still takes a lot of celestial synergy to get that rarest of eclipses: the full solar eclipse. More often, we get partial solar eclipses. An annular eclipse is one where the moon passes fully between the Sun and Earth, with the entirety of its disc covering our view of the Sun… but not our entire view of the sun. The Moon still appears smaller than the Sun in the sky, and so at the peak of its coverage, it is outlined on all sides by the Sun, appearing as a dark disc on the face of the star, surrounded by a ring of fire.

Space.com and Reddit’s Tokyo users have offered a number of striking pictures of the event.

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It Came From Outer Space

Serve Out Of This World Meals In These Planetary Body Bowls

No, this is not a satellite image of our beautiful planet – it’s a bowl! A serving bowl to be exact and one I’d be reluctant to actually put food in. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d put all sorts of themed food on these beauties! Hit the jump for a few more. 

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It's Aliiiiiiiiiiiive!

The Bright Moonlight That Inspired Mary Shelley to Write Frankenstein Was Probably Real

Once upon a time in 1816, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin gathered alongside Lord Byron, John Polidori, and the man who would become her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. A group of ambitious and creative writers, the quartet agreed to each write their own ghost story, but the woman who later became Mary Shelley was stuck with “that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship.” In other words, she had writer’s block. (Sing it, sister.) However, one night, after discussing the possibility of a man being reanimated by lightning, Shelley had an experience involving a bright stream of a moonlight, spilling into her room through the shutters. And then she wrote Frankenstein. Some have disputed her story about how she struggled for days to come with the story, saying that this was just a romanticized tale to hook her audience, but astronomers are now saying that she was probably not making it up: Mary Shelley was most likely witness to a “bright, gibbous moon” in the wee hours of June 16, 1816, which must have been a few struggle-filled days after the ghost story challenge.

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