The Earth And Moon From Far Far Away

Photo courtesy of NASA

The photo above, of the Earth and the Moon, was taken by the robotic spacecraft MESSENGER from 183 Million kilometers (114 million miles) away. That is about the same distance away as the planet Mercury. The Earth and Moon are visible as the double spot on the lower left. The MESSENGER spacecraft is working its way to enter orbit around Mercury in March of 2011 (via Coudal Partners)

Libration

Today on Wednesday’s Wonderful World of Wikipedia is the concept ofLibration. In astronomy libration (from the Latin verb libro -are “to balance, to sway”, cf. libra “scales”) refers to the various orbital conditions which make it possible to see more than 50% of the moon’s surface over time, even though the front of the Moon is tidally locked to always face towards the earth. As the orbital processes are repetitive, libration is manifested as a slow rocking back and forth (or up and down) of the face of the orbital body as viewed from the parent body, much like the rocking of a pair of scales about the point of balance.
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Bats In The Belfry Or How To Use The Internet For Making A Record Of Your Life


Corner Of 16th & Grant, Denver

Last night, while walking home from work, I noticed this eerie scene and it reminded me of how close we are actually getting to Halloween. The nearly full moon and the belfry of St. Paul Lutheran Church and the dead tree limbs sure created a spooky mood. My new little moon phases thing says that a full moon should be coming any day now. The bells in the belfry can be heard in my apartment. Sometimes their loud ringing is nice and they act as a pleasant type of alarm, other times they can simply be loud and headache inducing. This mostly depends on my mood, demeanor, and how much I drank the night before. I remember one morning when the bells played, to my surprise, Cat Steven’s “Morning Has Broken”. Back in June of this past summer I recorded those churchbells on my cell phone.