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A new earthrise photo, as seen from the moon by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
image of earthrise seen from the moon-October-20151
Spectacular new image of earthrise seen from the moon, from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using cameras operated by Arizona State University. Africa, the south Atlantic Ocean and the eastern edge of South America can be seen. The large tan area on the upper right is the Sahara Desert. In the foreground on the moon, you are seeing the Compton crater.
As seen from any one spot on the moon’s surface, Earth never rises or sets. Because one side of the moon always faces Earth, the Earth hangs relatively motionless in the lunar sky. But orbiting spacecraft can see earthrises and earthsets. This week, Arizona State University emailed this amazing new image of an earthrise seen from the moon, along with Q-and-A with Mark Robinson, who is the principal investigator for the cameras aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. In it, Robinson talked about this image, which was acquired by the orbiter’s camera (the LROC) in October.
    Q: How did you know this image would be possible?
    A: [The LROC has] taken pictures of the Earth more than 10 times in the past. We wanted to get a limb shot (showing the edge of the moon). What makes it really hard is getting the moon in the foreground … That was not by accident. We have software tools that allow us to visualize observations. We know where the spacecraft is going to be in the future … We determined from which orbits the Earth will be visible near the limb. Once we know the ground track where the Earth will be visible, we then find a view with a dramatic foreground.
    Question: What are some of the pieces that had to come together to make this photo?
    Answer: Just a few of the steps: You have to roll the spacecraft, in this case about 70 degrees, but the spacecraft is traveling at over 1,600 meters per second. We’re restricted in the length of one exposure time to something close to 0.4 milliseconds. You also move the spacecraft in the direction of flight so that you can get a wide enough field of view. When a spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit, the timing changes from image-to-image in an orbit. We have to compute all of that beforehand to get it exactly right … That timing has to be precisely carried out … We have to predict the temperature of the CCD (electronic equivalent of film). The Wide Angle Camera (WAC) is imaging an area multiple times while the Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) takes just one picture. We blow up the WAC images and combine them to produce higher resolution, and then overlay this sharper image on the NAC image. We wanted the Earth to be on the horizon, and that only happens from certain areas of the moon. It’s only when the spacec    raft is above the boundary between the nearside and farside that you can see the Earth behind the limb (edge of the moon).
    Q: LRO has been in orbit for more than six years. If you picked the best shots to show your friends, what are they?
    A: We’ve taken more than a million images. My answer changes every three days. The Apollo landing sites are fantastic. You can see the tracks the astronauts left on the surface of the moon. To me, as a scientist, it’s really great because it helps me visualize the photographs they took on the surface. The significance of the geologic context. ‘All right, now I know they got that soil sample there, and I can see what it looks like.’
Thank you, Skeen for the article! xoxo 

IOTD

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And now for a little something different.

Calendar day; January 5, 2016

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Tuesday, the 5th of January, 2016 is the 5th day in 2016 and in the 1st calendar week.

General Events:

National Bird Day
January 5, 2016 in the USA

National Bird Day takes place on January 05, 2016. It is an annual holiday with half a million adherents who celebrate through birdwatching, studying birds, bird drinking games including ‘bird date’ and other bird-related activities. Bird adoption is a particularly important National Bird Day activity. According to the newspaper Atlanta Journal Constitution, many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds and by educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including their “screaming, biting, constant cleanups, the need for daily interaction and a varied diet”.

Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. All living species of birds have wings. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly. Flightless birds include ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations.

Though human activities have allowed the expansion of a few species, such as the Barn Swallow and European Starling, they have caused population decreases or extinction in many other species. Over a hundred bird species have gone extinct in historical times. The most commonly cited human threat to birds is habitat loss. Other threats include overhunting, accidental mortality due to structural collisions, pollution, competition and predation from nonnative invasive species, and climate change.

Governments and conservation groups work to protect birds, either by passing laws that preserve and restore bird habitat or by establishing captive populations for reintroductions. Such projects have produced some successes; one study estimated that conservation efforts saved 16 species of bird that would otherwise have gone extinct between 1994 and 2004, including the California Condor and Norfolk Parakeet.

http://www.nationalbirdday.com/

Where is the event?
Nationwide USA

 

Twelfth Night 2016
January 5, 2016 in the World

Twelfth Night takes place on January 05, 2016. Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking”. There is some confusion these days, however, as to which night is Twelfth Night: modern practice is often to regard the night of Epiphany itself (sixth of January) to be Twelfth Night. The older tradition of Twelfth Night being the 5 January stems from the medieval practice of the day beginning at sunset, rather than at midnight as it does now. Thus Twelfth Night falls on 5 January, ahead of Twelfth Day on the 6th. A recent belief in some English-speaking countries holds that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, a belief originally attached to the festival of Candlemas which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (2 February).

Where is Twelfth Night?
Worldwide

Historical Events on 5th January:

1477 – Battle at Nancy, Burgundy vs Switz, 7000 + killed including their leader Charles Duke of Burgundy

1554 – Great fire in Eindhoven Neth

1709 – Sudden extreme cold kills thousands of Europeans

1834 – Kiowa Indians record this as the night the stars fell

1840 – Records show 95,820 licensed public houses in England on this date

1888 – Dutch Heidemaatschappij established

1895 – French Capt Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, publicly stripped of his rank; later exonerated

1896 – The Die Presse newspaper (Germany) publicly announces Wilhelm Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays and their potential for new methods of medical diagnoses in a front-page article

1930 – Mao Zedong writes “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire”

1972 – US President Nixon signs a bill for NASA to begin research on a manned space shuttle

1976 – Cambodia is renamed “Democratic Kampuchea”

1985 – Thousands of Jewish refugees are airlifted from Sudan to Israel

1998 – Ice storm knocks out electricity in Quebec & Ontario

2005 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, is discovered by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz using images originally taken on October 21, 2003, at the Palomar Observatory

 

 

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