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the moon

  1. If the Moon Were as Close to the Earth as the ISS, We’d Be in Big Trouble [Video]

    Welp, so much for a miracle romance.

    Fun fact: the ISS is actually way closer to the Earth than you'd think it would be. Like, only about 240 miles. That's basically less than a three and a half hour drive on your standard highway road in the U.S. Which is fine, because as far as space objects go, the ISS is pretty small. But what if the Moon were traveling at that distance instead?

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  2. The Moon and Venus Snuggle Up Close Tonight, Here’s How and When to See It in GIF form!

    Moon <3's Venus 4evah, maybe not 4evah, but definitely tonight.

    Tonight you'll be able to see a beautiful view of the Moon and Venus next to each other in the sky. Sure, they'll still actually be millions and millions of miles away from each other, but it's all about perspective, and tonight's perspective will be lovely. Here's how to see it in seven easy steps and eight silly GIFs.

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  3. Senator Announces NASA Project to Park Asteroid Near Our Moon

    We first heard of the plan to capture a small asteroid and park it near our Moon, essentially giving our Moon a moon of its own, back in January, but now it seems all but official. Chairman of the Senate Science and Space Subcommittee, Senator Bill Nelson said on Friday President Obama will include $100 million in the 2014 budget for the asteroid project, calling it a "clever concept." I wonder what William Shatner will suggest we name it.

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  4. The Moon is Not Really That Big, Your Brain is Just Teasing You With an Illusion

    Why does the Moon sometimes looks really big? It's not really getting closer to the Earth or growing, threaten to come down here and smash us all, so what gives? Is it a trick of the eyes? This is an illusion. The fine folks at AsapSCIENCE are back on the job to tell us why the moon can sometimes seem to loom so large in the night sky. Or actually, they tell us that there are a couple likely explanations for this not-quite-understood phenomenon.

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  5. This Picture From Apollo 17 Will Make You Feel Insignificant

    Hey, how's it goin'? Feelin' like you accomplished something with your life? Good job, good education, good prospects. That's nice. That's real nice. See why nothing you do with your life will ever matter, after the break.

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  6. Watch The Moon Age 4.5 Billion Years In Under 3 Minutes [Video]

    The moon may seem barren and boring, but each of those craters has a story, the story of an awesome space collision. Over its 4.5 billion year life, the moon has had an awful lot of those, turning it into the pockmarked celestial body we know and love today. Fortunately for you NASA's Goddard Multimedia team has comprised this lovely little video that gives you the quick version. At a quick but impressive 2:42, it's definitely worth a watch and sure beats staring at the sky, slack-jawed, for 4.5 billion years.

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  7. NASA Launches GRAIL Spacecraft to Study Moon's Interior, Let Middle-Schoolers See Cool Pictures

    Earlier this morning, NASA launched the spacecraft that will be under taking the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, which aims to shine some light on the moon's internal structure, history and evolution. The two spacecraft, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B, launched together this morning, strapped to a Delta II rocket and are slated to reach the moon on New Years Eve 2011 and New Years Day 2012 respectively. One there, they'll fly around the moon in formation, measuring changes in gravity and using the data to infer all kinds of things about the Moon's core and history. In addition to all that gravity stuff, the GRAIL spacecraft are also equipped with cameras devoted to the MoonKAM project (a pained acronym for Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) that will let middle school classrooms request picture of specific parts of the moon. In addition to acquiring moon knowledge, these lucky kids will get to experience the concentrated joy of interacting with and having an effect on an actual spacecraft that is in space. I'm pretty jealous. (via NASA, GRAIL MoonKAM)

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  8. One Cool Aspect of the Formation of the Moon: Lava Rain

    The "prevailing hypothesis" on how Earth got its moon these days is that a massive asteroid crashed into the young planet about 4.5 billion years ago.  The heat and force of the impact vaporized a lot of rock and metal and threw it into the atmosphere, where it eventually formed a ring, and then that ring coalesced around the remains of the asteroid and eventually became our lovely lunar satellite.  We just had to spend a few million years looking like Mustafar. One hitch in this hypothesis is that if the moon is mostly made of Earth stuff, and the Earth is mostly made of Earth stuff, how do we account for the far more irony iron-y content of the Moon, and the far more magnesium-y content of the Earth? As it turns out, scientists think the answer lies in something totally awesome: rains of molten lava.

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  9. Batman is Pregnant. And on the Moon. And Superman is Listening to his Unborn Child.

    A tipster -- who we're guessing may have seen this on Reddit? -- sends along this interesting fan picture accompanied only by the subject heading "for you" and the word "Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" -- Batman is pregnant. And on the moon. And Superman is listening to his unborn child kick while Batman smiles knowingly.

    That about sums it up.

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  10. Japan To Build Robot Moon Base

    I stand by that dangling participle, thank you very much. Japan heard you like moon bases and robots, so it's going to build a moon base for robots with robots on the moon. You see, unlike the US, Japan still has it's sights set on our loyal orbiter, and is investing $2.2 billion in putting humanoid robots on the moon by 2015.
    As currently envisioned, the robots that will land on the lunar surface in 2015 will be 660-pound behemoths equipped with rolling tank-like treads, solar panels, seismographs, high-def cameras and a smattering of scientific instruments.

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