Tag Archives: moon

The Book of the Moon – Maggie Aderin-Pocock


The Book of the Moon

A Guide to Our Closest Neighbor

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: April 9, 2019

Publisher: ABRAMS

Seller: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Have you ever wondered if there are seasons on the moon or if space tourism will ever become commonplace? So has Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock. In fact, she earned her nickname “Lunatic” because of her deep fascination for all things lunar. In her lucidly written, comprehensive guide to the moon, Aderin-Pocock takes readers on a journey to our closest celestial neighbor, exploring folklore, facts, and future plans.         She begins with the basics, unpacking everything from the moon’s topography and composition to its formation and orbit around the Earth. She travels back in time to track humanity’s relationship with the moon — beliefs held by ancient civilizations, the technology that allowed for the first moon landing, a brief history of moongazing, and how the moon has influenced culture throughout the years — and then to the future, analyzing the pros and cons of continued space travel and exploration. Throughout the book are sidebars, graphs, and charts to enhance the facts as well as black-and-white illustrations of the moon and stars.  The Book of the Moon  will be published for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

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The Book of the Moon – Maggie Aderin-Pocock

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Apollo Confidential – Lukas Viglietti


Apollo Confidential

Memories of Men On the Moon

Lukas Viglietti

Genre: History

Price: $11.99

Publish Date: July 30, 2019

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC

The inside stories of the Apollo program and the live of astronauts, as told to the author by the men themselves—with a forward by astronaut Charlie Duke.   Between 1969 and 1972, twelve people walked on the surface of the Moon. Twelve others flew over its majestic surface. They were the sons of ordinary individuals. But they believed anything was possible―and they proved it to the entire world.   Fascinated by these men—heroes such as Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and many others—airline pilot Lukas Viglietti personally recorded their testimonies, becoming a close friend and confidant to many of them in the process. Now he shares his exclusive and unprecedented insight into their adventures and the Apollo program overall in Apollo Confidential .


Apollo Confidential – Lukas Viglietti

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Jay Inslee raises the stakes for 2020 presidential candidates

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Washington State Governor Jay Inslee is considering running for president and he’s got one issue on the brain: climate change. On Wednesday, the Democrat took another step toward solidifying his green credentials by signing the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.

Big whoop, right? Wrong.

Unlike Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and other high-profile Democrats mulling (or already in the process of launching) presidential bids, Inslee isn’t exactly a household name. But the governor is betting that Americans have developed enough of an appetite for climate action to elect a candidate who puts it front and center — even if they haven’t heard of him.

Accepting or rejecting money from fossil fuels is developing into a sorting issue among Democrats. Progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argue politicians working on crafting environmental policies shouldn’t accept money from Big Oil, while establishment Democrats like Frank Pallone — the new chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee — argue fossil fuel money is a necessary evil.

Inslee has a sturdy solid environmental record, though he isn’t immune to some pointed criticism from a few folks to his left. And while more than 1,300 American politicians have taken the pledge not to accept fossil fuel donations, Inslee is only the second governor and the third of the many prospective 2020 presidential candidates from the Democratic Party to reject any such donations that are larger than $200. Bernie, Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon, and Governor Tim Walz from Minnesota have also taken the vow.

“This challenge calls for the scale of national effort similar to when we went to the moon, similar to when we beat fascism,” Inslee told HuffPost about what it will take to defeat climate change. “The Democratic Party has to put a candidate forward who will make it the primary commitment to get this stuff done.”


Jay Inslee raises the stakes for 2020 presidential candidates

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Utility companies knew about climate change for decades, too.

Climate change is rapidly altering the region, and less sea ice means more ships are lining up to traverse its remote waters. “It’s what keeps us up at night,” Amy Merten, a NOAA employee, told the New York Times. “There’s just no infrastructure for response.”

Cargo ships and cruise liners are already setting sail, and the Trump administration is clearing the way for oil rigs to join them.

Canada, the U.S., and Russia have an agreement to help each other during emergencies, but the U.S. only has two functional heavy icebreaker ships, and rescue efforts would likely have to rely on other commercial ships being nearby.

To top it all off, the head of the Coast Guard, Paul Zukunft, says the U.S. is unprepared to deal with an Arctic oil spill. Zukunft pointed out the difficulty in cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill, which had much more favorable conditions.

“In the Arctic, it’s almost like trying to get it to the moon in some cases, especially if it’s in a season where it’s inaccessible; that really doubles, triples the difficulty of responding,” the head of the Navy’s climate change task force told Scientific American.

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Utility companies knew about climate change for decades, too.

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Calculating the Cosmos – Ian Stewart


Calculating the Cosmos
How Mathematics Unveils the Universe
Ian Stewart

Genre: Mathematics

Price: $18.99

Expected Publish Date: October 25, 2016

Publisher: Basic Books

Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC

Mathematics has informed our understanding of the cosmos on every scale: from the origin and motion of the Moon, to the intricacies of asteroids, comets, and Kuiper Belt objects. Math has taught us how interactions with Jupiter can fling asteroids toward Mars, and how a planet’s rings can spit out moons. In Calculating the Cosmos , Ian Stewart takes us on an astonishing journey—from the formation of the Earth and its Moon, to the planets and asteroids of the solar system, and from there out into the galaxy and the universe. He describes the architecture of space and time; dark matter and dark energy; how galaxies, stars, and planets form; why stars implode; how everything began; and how it’s all going to end. In his characteristically accessible and engaging style, Stewart uses math to explain our extraordinary universe and our place within it.

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Calculating the Cosmos – Ian Stewart

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How Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Ecosystems

Night skies throughout the world are becoming brighter due to humans increasing use of artificial lights. This doesnt simply interrupt our star gazing opportunities it has a significant impact on many different animal species.

The term light pollution generally refers to how urban lighting blocks out our view of the night sky. But researchers are becoming more concerned about whats called ecological light pollution, which alters light levels in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The following are some of their discoveries on the effects of ecological light pollution.

Bird Navigation

Nocturnal bird species use the moon and stars for navigation during migrations. Artificial lighting on tall office buildings, communication towers and other brightly-lit structures has been shown to throw them off-course with often fatal results.

Migrating birds are attracted to artificial lights and will fly in circles around them until they die from exhaustion or predators. Lights also cause a significant number of collisions with human-made structures.

For instance, a 4-year study that concluded in 2007 counted fatal night-time bird collisions at an illuminated offshore research platform in the North Sea. At the end of the study, 767 bird carcasses of 34 different species had been collected. Considering there are over 1,000 human structures in the North Sea, researchers estimated that hundreds of thousands of nocturnal migrating birds could be killed each year in that area alone.


Some night-dwelling creatures require darkness for proper communication. An example is the complex system fireflies use to communicate messages. The bioluminescent lights they emit from their bodies range from adult mating signals to young larvae warning off predators. These messages can be easily interrupted by stray light.

Darkness is also important for coyote communication. Coyotes howl more during the time of a new moon, when the sky is darkest. They most likely do this to reduce trespassing from other packs or to assist with hunting larger prey during dark conditions. A brighter sky reduces the amount they howl, which could disrupt territorial marking and group hunting coordination.


The reproductive behaviors of many animals may also be altered by light pollution. For instance, female glow-worms use bioluminescent flashes in order to attract males up to 45 meters (150 feet) away. Artificial lights can disrupt these important signals.

Its been found that the female South American tungara frog is less selective about mate choice when greater amounts of light are present. Researchers suggest they may prefer to mate quickly in order to avoid an increased risk of predation in higher light.

Another experiment showed that frogs stopped their mating activity during night football games where a local sports stadium increased sky glow. Frog mating choruses resumed when a shield was put up to block the stadiums light from the frogs habitat.

Ecosystem Interactions

Many predator-prey relationships are dependent on light. One study found that more harbor seals congregated under artificial lights to eat juvenile salmon migrating downstream. When the lights were turned off, the seals ate less salmon. This shows how increased light pollution can disrupt a natural balance, benefitting one species and putting another at risk.

The loss of nocturnal moths is another example of how local ecology can be impacted. Moths are attracted to lights and many are killed annually by touching hot components or getting caught in light-bated electric traps. The bats and birds who feed on them lose a food source. Also, moths play an important role in pollination for many different plant species. These are affected by declining moth populations.


Artificial night lighting may also disorient creatures that rely on darkness for navigation. The disruption of newly hatched baby sea turtles is a well-documented case.

When the hatchlings emerge from nests on sandy beaches, they will naturally move away from the dark silhouettes of vegetation on the beach. This causes them to head towards the open ocean. Beachfront lighting prevents the young turtles from seeing the silhouettes properly, and they become disoriented and remain stranded on the beach exposed to the elements and predators. Millions of hatchlings die this way each year.

What Can Be Done?

Many places throughout the world have taken steps to reduce light pollution. Audubon started a Lights Out program that now includes many major US cities.

In addition, the International Dark Sky Association works to conserve areas with dark skies through public education and designating Dark Sky communities, parks, and reserves. These are all listed on their website and many are open to visitors.

You can also take action at home to reduce ecological light pollution. Some helpful measures include:

Avoid using unnecessary interior or exterior lighting.
Install motion sensors on all outdoor lights. This will also help reduce your electricity costs.
Turn off any lights at night that are not motion sensing.
Take extra care to reduce night lighting during bird migration periods, typically in April and May, and again in August through to November.
Ensure all exterior lighting is fully shielded so light is prevented from shining upwards into the sky. These fixtures may also be called zero light up or dark sky compliant. The International Dark Sky Association has further information on types of fixtures to look for.
Use yellow or red lights when possible. These have a lower impact on wildlife and dont attract insects.
Install window coverings that block as much light from escaping as possible.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Ecosystems

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Bernie Sanders Can’t Figure Out Why His Supporters Don’t Like Hillary Clinton

Mother Jones

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MoJo’s ace reporting team tells us what happened when Bernie Sanders addressed his delegates at the Democratic convention. At first, when he talked about the platform and the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, things went fine:

But when he tried to rally the delegates on behalf of Clinton, his audience became restless. “Immediately, right now, we have got to defeat Donald Trump, and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” Sanders said. His delegates shouted their protests and booed, forcing Sanders to pause before continuing in his remarks. Sanders called Trump a “bully and a demagogue” who “has made bigotry the core of his campaign.” Still, the boos continued. “She does too!” delegates shouted. Others yelled, “Only you! Only you!”

Sanders declared that Trump poses a danger to the country’s future, but he could not win over the crowd. “She has ruined communities!” one woman shouted. “She has ruined countries!” Sanders pointed out that Trump “does not respect the Constitution of the United States.” Delegates kept on chanting: “Not with her!” and “We want Bernie!”

Our reporters say that Sanders “looked a bit surprised by the intensity of the Clinton opposition.” I can’t imagine why. This is one of the big problems I had with him back during the primary. It’s one thing to fight on policy grounds, as he originally said he would, but when you start promising the moon and explicitly accusing Hillary Clinton of being a corrupt shill for Wall Street—well, there are some bells that can be unrung. He convinced his followers that Hillary was a corporate warmonger more concerned with lining her own pockets than with progressive principles, and they still believe it. And why wouldn’t they? Their hero told them it was true.

Hillary is no saint. But her reputation as dishonest and untrustworthy is about 90 percent invention. Republicans have been throwing mud against the wall forever in an attempt to smear her, and the press has played along eagerly the entire time. When Bernie went down that road, he was taking advantage of decades of Republican lies in the hopes of winning an unwinnable battle. He was also playing directly into Donald Trump’s hands.

I don’t know. Maybe he never realized how seriously his young followers took him. It’s possible. But he really needs to do something about this. Tonight’s speech would be a good starting point.

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Bernie Sanders Can’t Figure Out Why His Supporters Don’t Like Hillary Clinton

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No Debate Live-Blogging Tonight

Mother Jones

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For those of you who have just returned from a vacation on the moon, there’s a Republican debate tonight. It’s on Fox News at 9 pm Eastern, and Donald Trump will not be participating.

Nor will I. Instead, I have important birthday celebrations to attend to. This mostly involves trying out a new Italian place nearby, which sounds a whole lot more pleasant than yet another two hours of rehearsed talking points about the appeaser-in-chief and the death of America as we know it. You’re on your own for that. I’ll try to catch up when I get home.

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No Debate Live-Blogging Tonight

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Thank Kennedy For Getting Us To Pluto

Mother Jones

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This morning’s historic, high-tech NASA flyby of Pluto has already taken place, and now we Earth-bound humans must wait for a signal that the New Horizons spacecraft has successfully danced its intricate dance near the dwarf planet and its moon, Charon. This mission has literally taken years: it launched over nine years ago. But in a bigger sense, it’s been more than five decades in the making.

“It’s a moment of celebration,” said Alan Stern from Johns Hopkins University, one of the mission’s principle scientists, during a live broadcast from the Maryland mission headquarters on Tuesday morning. “We have completed the initial reconnaissance of the solar system, an endeavor started under President Kennedy more than 50 years ago.”

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy stood in front of a joint session of Congress (above) to declare: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” The motivation was not entirely idealistic. The nation was in the grip of a space-race with the Soviet Union, and Kennedy wanted America to hurry the hell up. The Soviets had sent Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, into space in 1957, followed in 1961 by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin as the first human in space.

Kennedy’s speech set in motion NASA’s manned space flight program, and by the end of the decade, Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the moon and planted the American flag.

But the president’s speech didn’t just call for putting man on the moon. He also wanted more money to fund America’s research into nuclear rockets and unmanned missions, which he said would provide “a means for even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the moon, perhaps to the very end of the solar system itself.” Obviously, Kennedy could not fathom the technology that would send the the New Horizons craft to Pluto. It’s being powered by an electrical unit known as a “radioisotope thermoelectric generator” which converts the heat of 24 pounds of plutonium into a amazingly tiny amount of wattage. The craft’s thrust through space was mainly provided by the sheer propulsive energy of its actual launch (with a little help from Jupiter as a slingshot along the way.) Nevertheless, Kennedy’s words feel especially prescient today, as we wait to experience the final frontier of our vast solar system, by plunging at last through the Kuiper Belt.

Kennedy was right about another thing, too: “Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share.”


Thank Kennedy For Getting Us To Pluto

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What Happens When an Eclipse Hits the World’s Most Solar-Powered Country?

Mother Jones

On March 20, Europe will experience a total solar eclipse for a few hours in the morning. The last time an eclipse of this scale happened in Europe was in 1999. Back then, Germany got less than 1 percent of its power from solar energy. Today, Germany is the world’s most solar-dependent country, drawing nearly 7 percent of its electricity from the sun. So when the passing moon blots out the sun, will the country’s lights go out too?

Over the last couple months, that question has gotten plenty of attention in the German media. In September, Der Spiegel reported that some power companies were afraid the eclipse would leave the power grid “dangerously unstable.” In February, the business weekly Wirtschafts Woche warned that factories could suddenly lose power if electric supply doesn’t keep pace with demand.

Still, the view among most energy experts is that the eclipse will come and go with no noticeable effect for consumers. That’s because the country’s utility companies have spent months preparing for what is essentially an unprecedented test of the futuristic German grid, which is a model for clean energy advocates in the United States.

“Some of the hype ahead of the eclipse served to focus minds,” said Andreas Kramer, a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam. Power companies “relish the upcoming opportunity to show how they can handle that challenge professionally.”

So what’s the big deal, exactly? The sun goes down every night, of course, and Germany is quite accustomed to cloudy days (it gets about as much sunshine as Alaska). The difference with a solar eclipse is the speed at which sunlight will disappear from, and then return to, the power system. All electric grids operate on the fundamental principle that supply and demand must always be in perfect equilibrium, second-by-second. That dynamic becomes complicated when so much of your power comes from a source like solar, over which grid operators have zero control. And it’s especially tricky when the fluctuation is so rapid and extreme.

Typically, Germans can rely on coal-fired power plants to pick up the slack at night, when power demand is relatively low anyway. But those can take many hours to fire up, and the eclipse is expected to make solar output dip nearly three times faster than normal, according to a recent analysis by clean energy market research firm Opower.

“It’s fair to say that this is the most dramatic intersection ever between a solar eclipse and solar energy,” Opower analyst Barry Fischer said.

Generally speaking, a byproduct of the clean energy revolution is an increasing need to replace the old grid model—which relied almost exclusively on a small number of big, inflexible power plants—with a highly flexible suite of interconnected options. So the eclipse is a chance to test just how responsive and adaptive Germany’s new grid can be. The outcome will be a valuable lesson for US grid managers who are looking to a much more solar-heavy future.

Take a look at the bite the eclipse will take out of Germany’s solar production, according to Opower:


The exact change will depend the weather that day; if it’s already cloudy, the drop will be less drastic. (The current forecast for Munich—which is in Bavaria, the province with the most solar—is partly cloudy on that day.)

The temporary hole left by the eclipse will be filled by natural gas plants, which fire up relatively quickly, and possibly by the release of extra hydropower. And utilities have the option of communicating directly with heavy power-users—big manufacturing facilities, for instance—and asking them to slow down production for an hour to ease the burden. It’s a bit like an orchestra conductor calling on an array of instruments in real time to keep up a steady flow of music.

Moreover, Kramer pointed out that the eclipse won’t happen all at once; it’s not like flipping a switch. As the moon’s shadow moves across the country, the impact on solar will be phased in and out geographically.

A final option is energy storage, where solar power from the previous day could be kept in giant batteries and released during the eclipse. Utility-scale storage is still in its infancy, and it won’t be on the table next week. But a spokesperson for Germany’s solar energy trade association said that solution could be up and running in time for the next major eclipse…in 2048.

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What Happens When an Eclipse Hits the World’s Most Solar-Powered Country?

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