Did NASA say there’s a man on the Moon?

NASA released an article about the September 2007 Aurigid meteor shower.  You can read the news release for details, but I want to point out something unusual they said.  The article said it’s important to consider the dust particles because :

    * Only known case in our lifetime: crossing of the dust trail of a known long period comet.
    * Long-period comets, such as were Hale-Bopp, Hyakutake, and McNaught, tend to sneak up on us. They are a potential impact danger. What can the dust trail tell us about their physical nature?
    * Their dust is a danger to satellites in orbit and man working on the Moon.
    * Dust stream could contain material from original cosmic-ray produced crust of comet.

I emphasized part of that, because it sounds like there’s a man working on the Moon.  Could this be a major slip-up by NASA?  Supposedly we haven’t been back to the Moon since the original landings back in 1969-1972.  That’s 35 years!  Could this be the next big conspiracy theory?  Let’s consider the details.  Why would we want people on the Moon?  To mine resources, or for spying, or the start of an intergalactic military moon base.  If there are people on the Moon, why haven’t any amateur astronomers seen them?  The same side of the Moon always faces Earth, so they could be hiding on the backside of the Moon and we’d never see them.  And how many countries have any satellites or spacecraft that go outside the orbit of the Moon?  Just the U.S., as far as I know.  So if someone (or something) was hiding on the backside of the Moon, who are the only people who would know?  NASA.  And now they’ve accidentally said something about a “man working on the Moon”, which supposedly hasn’t happened in 35 years.  So why would they even mention it?  Think about it…  and leave your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s figure out what’s going on here…

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caption contest, man staring at neighbor’s funny hedges

Welcome to this week’s caption contest!   This week’s photo features a man staring at his neighbor’s hedges, which were trimmed to resemble a man mooning someone over the fence.  Write a caption to explain what’s going on, whether it’s a story or a joke or a quote.  Just make it funny and clean.

(To see the other caption contests, click on the “Say What?” category in the sidebar.)

why we should blow up the Moon

moon explosionAfter all this talk of blowing up the Moon, I revisited the petition to blow up the moon, and it’s up to 1109 signatures.  That’s quite a few people, though nowhere near enough to get this kind of legislation to pass.

I decided to glance at some of the recent signatures, to see what people are listing as their reasons for signing it, and I found some interesting excuses.  Here’s some of the most random and creative ones (with the original spelling and grammar):

* How long before it crashes to Earth and kills the dinosaurs again?
* I’m not using it for anything. Why not blow it up?
* Pretty annoying. Never stays the same shape.
* because it has enslaved humans in its evil orbital …… orbit for far to long
* It blocks my view.
* it gives us nothing and if we can blow it up we can study the inside from the outside
* it causes the tides. which causes friction which in turn causes volcanos to erupt, and im living on a volcano.
* Been there, not done it.
* sure destroying the moon would have catastrofic effects but thats the fun of it
* One word: werewolves!
* I am sick of my sandcastles being washed away.
* Because it’s stupid and cheesy.
* The moon is the giant stir-stick in the solution of life, and the planet would look nice with a ring…
* It should be blown up because it’s leeching off our gravity.
* It makes me feel empty inside.
* It’s starting to smell.
* Waste of space…(get it?)
* When I was there, it pretty much sucked.
* What if it falls down?
* I hate cheese…
* For too long the moon has looked down on us!
* what the crap if u blow up the moon earth would be destroyed also and id just be plain idiotic

So there you have it — lots of reasons why the Moon should be blown up.  Of course, if we were to consider the argument for not blowing up the Moon, there’s at least one really good reason on that side.  I won’t get into that debate here, but you can ponder it on your own time.  Just don’t actually try to blow up the Moon on your own — there’s some potential side effects that need to be considered first.  (Also at that last link is part of our discussion on how the Moon is broken.)

Impact – Will the Moon destroy the Earth?

Last Sunday night I happened to catch a few minutes of a made-for-TV movie on ABC called “Impact“.   It was about a meteor shower that hid “a rogue asteroid” which hit the Moon and pushed it closer to Earth.  This new elliptical orbit caused all kinds of problems, and it looked neat to see the Moon up close to the Earth.

The tagline of the movie is: “Get ready to experience the dark side of the moon!”  Obviously that can be taken as a pun, but perhaps the movie also means to portray the Moon as evil.  The plot twist is that the Moon is going to crash into the Earth in 39 days, and unless man can stop it, all life on the planet will be destroyed.

I didn’t see a lot of the movie, but even what I saw had some difficult-to-believe moments (and I like science fiction movies).  The main problem I had with it was that people and objects (as heavy as trains) would sometimes float into the air.   They could’ve explained that as the Moon’s gravity competing with the Earth’s, but they said it was due to some electromagnetic effect resulting from the meteors / asteroids.   I’m not sure how electromagnetism makes people float away, but that’s what happens in the movie.

There were also numerous cliché-type moments in the movie, which can get old.   But what kept my interest was when the scientists / astronomers said the Moon was going to crash into the Earth.  What will they do about that?  The obvious answer is to blow it up.   Once the plot thickened to this consistency, I started watching more.   Unfortunately, it was “to be continued”, and will finish this next Sunday at 8pm CST.  I figure they won’t blow it up, but it is an interesting idea.

The idea of blowing up the Moon is not my idea — I remember seeing an online petition to blow up the Moon.   (I wonder who started that, and why.)  But I have explained on numerous occasions that the Moon is broken, and something needs to be done to fix it.  (Follow that link for a full explanation, and there are several trackbacks in the comments leading to further discussion on this subject.)

FYI, there are two links at the IMDb page for watching the movie, but I haven’t tried using them.