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Observers are preparing for the “supermoon” as Earth’s satellite makes its closest approach since 1948.

Europe’s best chance to see it will be on Monday evening, November 14, although the Moon will be at its closest – only 221,524 miles away – at 11:21 GMT.

To viewers, the Moon will appear about 7% larger than normal and about 15% brighter – although the human eye is barely able to discern that difference.

Yet the Moon won’t be this close again until November 25, 2034.

Extra-supermoon, the largest and brightest full moon of the year, will be rising on the evening of August 10

As the Moon traces its orbit around the Earth, we see different proportions illuminated by the Sun. Once in each orbit, our satellite is totally illuminated – a full moon.

As the Moon orbits the Earth every 27 days or so, it travels in an elliptical or oval shape.

This means that its distance from our planet is not constant but varies across a full orbit.

Within this uneven orbit there are further variations caused by the Earth’s movements around the Sun.

These mean that the perigee – the closest approach – and full moon are not always in sync.

However, occasions when the perigee and full moon coincide have become known in popular parlance as supermoons.


To observers, the differences between a supermoon and a normal full moon are quite subtle.

Generally, supermoons can be up to 14% larger and 30% brighter, but only when compared with the furthest point the Moon gets to within its orbit.

Edgar Mitchell, who was the sixth man to walk on the Moon, has died at the age of 85.

The astronaut passed away at a hospice in West Palm Beach, Florida, one day before the 45th anniversary of his Moon landing, his family said.

As part of the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, Edgar Mitchell spent more than nine hours on the Moon conducting experiments.

He said he had undergone an epiphany in space and in later life revealed a belief that aliens had visited Earth.

Edgar Mitchell’s mission to the Moon was the fourth in the US Apollo series, and the first to follow the ill-fated Apollo 13 which aborted its attempt to land after an oxygen tank explosion.

The astronaut and his crewmate, another Navy officer, Captain Alan Shepard, made it safely to the lunar surface. Their landing site was the Fra Mauro Highlands, a hilly area that was the target of the failed Apollo 13 mission.

During their 33 hours at the site, the two astronauts collected 94lb of Moonrock for examination back on earth and completed the longest moonwalk in history.Edgar Mitchell dead at 85

Capt. Alan Shepard also hit a golf ball he had stowed onboard for the purpose, reporting later that it traveled “miles and miles and miles” in the low lunar gravity. He later estimated it traveled up to 400 yards – still considerably further than his average Earthbound drive.

Edgar Mitchell brought home more than just Moonrock, telling reporters in the days after the mission that he said he had experienced an “epiphany” in space and returned with “an overwhelming sense of oneness, of connectedness”.

Years later the astronaut wrote in his autobiography: “It occurred to me that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft itself were manufactured long ago in the furnace of one of the ancient stars that burned in the heavens about me.”

Edgar Mitchell left NASA in 1972 and set up the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which aimed to support “individual and collective transformation through consciousness research”.

Unlike his post-NASA life, Edgar Mitchell took a very traditional route to becoming an astronaut. He flew fighter jets for the Navy before becoming a test pilot – a profession from which many of the early Apollo crews were drawn.

He joined the astronaut corps in April 1966, five years before he went into space. Apollo 14 was his only spaceflight.

Of the 12 men who have set foot on the Moon, seven are still alive following Edgar Mitchell’s death, including Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong’s crewmate on the first mission in 1969.

Millions of people in northern Europe have glimpsed the best solar eclipse in years on March 20.

A great swathe of the Earth’s surface was plunged into darkness as the Moon came between us and the Sun.

The deep shadow formed first in the North Atlantic and then swept up into the Arctic, ending at the North Pole.

People keen to catch a glimpse of the rare phenomenon were advised not to look directly at it.Solar eclipse 2015

Looking directly at the Sun can cause serious harm, and skywatchers were directed to the multiple ways to catch an eclipse safely and in comfort.

Many professional and amateur astronomers positioned themselves in the Faroe Islands, where the capital city of Torshavn got totality for a full two minutes, beginning just before 09:41 GMT.

Those who could not book a flight or a hotel for the Faroes went to Svalbard, where the capital city of Longyearbyen witnessed two and a half minutes of totality, starting shortly after 10:10 GMT.

Irrespective of the cloud cover, scientists said citizens could still help them with their research.

The next solar eclipse will occur on March 9, 2016, and will cross Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, and extend out over the Pacific.

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Chinese and the US researchers suggest that the innermost core of the Earth has another, distinct region at its center.

The team believes that the structure of the iron crystals there is different from those found in the outer part of the inner core.

The findings are reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Without being able to drill into the heart of the Earth, its make-up is something of a mystery.

Scientists use echoes generated by earthquakes to study the core, by analyzing how they change as they travel through the different layers of our planet.Earth inner core has a core

Prof. Xiaodong Song, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said: “The waves are bouncing back and forth from one side of the Earth to the other side of the Earth.”

He and his colleagues in China say this data suggests that the Earth’s inner core – a solid region that is about the size of the Moon – is made up of two parts.

The seismic wave data suggests that crystals in the “inner inner core” are aligned in an east-to-west direction – flipped on their side, if you are looking down at our planet from high above the North Pole.

Those in the “outer inner core” are lined up north to south, so vertical if peering down from the same lofty vantage point.

Prof. Xiaodong Song said: “The fact we are discovering different structures at different regions of the inner core can tell us something about the very long history of the Earth.”

The core, which lies more than 5,000km down, started to solidify about a billion years ago – and it continues to grow about 0.5mm each year.

The finding that it has crystals with a different alignment, suggests that they formed under different conditions and that our planet may have undergone a dramatic change during this period.

Evidence of the world that crashed into the Earth billions of years ago to form the Moon has been found after researchers analyzed the lunar rock brought back by Apollo astronauts .

Analysis of lunar rock shows traces of the “planet” called Theia.

The researchers claim that their discovery confirms the theory that the Moon was created by just such a cataclysmic collision.

The study has been published in the journal Science.

The accepted theory since the 1980s is that the Moon arose as a result of a collision between the Earth and Theia planet 4.5 billion years ago.

The accepted theory since the 1980s is that the Moon arose as a result of a collision between the Earth and Theia planet 4.5 billion years ago

The accepted theory since the 1980s is that the Moon arose as a result of a collision between the Earth and Theia planet 4.5 billion years ago

Theia was named after a goddess in Greek mythology who was said to be the mother Selene the goddess of the Moon. It is thought to have disintegrated on impact with the resulting debris mingling with that from the Earth and coalescing into the Moon.

It is the simplest explanation, and fits in well with computer simulations. The main drawback with the theory is that no one had found any evidence of Theia in lunar rock samples.

Earlier analyses had shown Moon rock to have originated entirely from the Earth whereas computer simulations had shown that the Moon ought to have been mostly derived from Theia

Now a more refined analysis of Moon rock has found evidence of material thought to have an alien origin.

According to the lead researcher, Dr. Daniel Herwartz, from the University of Goettingen, no one has found definitive evidence for the collision theory, until now.

But the difference, some say, could be explained by material absorbed by the Earth after the Moon formed.

Dr. Daniel Herwartz measured the difference in what is called the isotopic composition of the oxygen contained in rocks on Earth and Moon rock. This is the ratio of different forms of oxygen.

Studies of meteorites from Mars and the outer solar system show that these ratios are markedly different -rather like a fingerprint.

One possibility is that Theia was formed very close the Earth and so had a similar composition. If that was the case it raises the possibility that the assumption that each planet in the current Solar System has a markedly different fingerprint that needs to be revisited.

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Jade Rabbit lunar rover has been declared dead on the surface of the Moon, Chinese state media have reported.

The robot suffered a serious mechanical problem last month; officials have said it “could not be restored to full function”.

Jade Rabbit lunar rover has been declared dead on the surface of the Moon

Jade Rabbit lunar rover has been declared dead on the surface of the Moon

The Jade Rabbit, or Yutu in Chinese, was deployed on the Moon’s surface on December 15.

It was the first successful soft landing on the Moon since 1976.

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Chinese Moon rover Jade Rabbit is in trouble after experiencing a “mechanical control abnormality”, state media report.

The Moon exploration vehicle ran into problems due to the moon’s “complicated lunar surface environment”, Xinhua news agency said, citing science officials.

Jade Rabbit landed in December as part of China’s Chang’e-3 mission – the first “soft” landing on the Moon since 1976.

It was expected to operate for around three months.

Earlier this month, the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre said that Jade Rabbit, also known as Yutu, had successfully explored the surface of the moon with its mechanical arm.

The malfunction emerged before the rover entered its scheduled dormancy period on Saturday, Xinhua reported, citing the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

Chinese Moon rover Jade Rabbit is in trouble after experiencing a mechanical control abnormality

Chinese Moon rover Jade Rabbit is in trouble after experiencing a mechanical control abnormality

Scientists were organizing repairs, the news agency added, without providing further details.

The rover was due to become dormant for 14 days during the lunar night, when there would be no sunlight to power the rover’s solar panel, reports said.

Xinhua said the news of the rover’s troubles had generated extensive discussion on Chinese social media.

“People not only hailed the authority’s openness to the accident, but also expressed concern,” it said.

On Sina Weibo, China’s largest microblog provider, users began tagging their posts with the hash tag “#hang in there Jade Rabbit”.

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Chinese rover Jade Rabbit has driven off its landing module and on to the Moon’s surface.

The robotic vehicle rolled down a ramp lowered by the lander and on to the volcanic plain known as Sinus Iridum.

Earlier on Saturday, the landing module containing the rover fired its thrusters to perform the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976.

The touchdown in the Moon’s northern hemisphere marks the latest step in China’s ambitious space programme.

The lander will operate there for a year, while the rover is expected to work for some three months.

Jade Rabbit’s touchdown in the Moon's northern hemisphere marks the latest step in China's ambitious space programme

Jade Rabbit’s touchdown in the Moon’s northern hemisphere marks the latest step in China’s ambitious space programme

The Chang’e-3 mission landed some 12 days after being launched atop a Chinese-developed Long March 3B rocket from Xichang in the country’s south.

Xinhua news agency reported that the craft began its descent just after 21:00 Beijing time, touching down in Sinus Iridum (the Bay of Rainbows) 11 minutes later.

Chang’e-3 is the third unmanned rover mission to touch down on the lunar surface, and the first to go there in more than 40 years. The last was an 1,900lb Soviet vehicle known as Lunokhod-2, which was kept warm by polonium-210.

But the six-wheeled Chinese vehicle carries a more sophisticated payload, including ground-penetrating radar which will gather measurements of the lunar soil and crust.

The 260 lb Jade Rabbit rover can reportedly climb slopes of up to 30 degrees and travel at 660ft per hour.

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China has launched its first lunar rover mission to space.

The Chang’e-3 mission blasted off from Xichang in the south at 01:30 Monday local time (17:30 GMT Sunday).

The Long March rocket’s payload includes a landing module and a six-wheeled robotic rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit).

The mission should land in the Moon’s northern hemisphere in mid-December.

Chinese state TV carried live pictures of the launch of the Chinese-developed Long March 3B rocket carrying the lunar probe.

This will be the third robotic rover mission to land on the lunar surface, but the Chinese vehicle carries a more sophisticated payload, including ground-penetrating radar which will gather measurements of the lunar soil and crust.

The 260lb Jade Rabbit rover can climb slopes of up to 30 degrees and travel at 660ft per hour

The 260lb Jade Rabbit rover can climb slopes of up to 30 degrees and travel at 660ft per hour

The 260lb Jade Rabbit rover can climb slopes of up to 30 degrees and travel at 660ft per hour, according to its designer the Shanghai Aerospace Systems Engineering Research Institute.

Its name – chosen in an online poll of 3.4 million voters – derives from an ancient Chinese myth about a rabbit living on the moon as the pet of the lunar goddess Chang’e.

The lander’s target is Sinus Iridum (Latin for Bay of Rainbows) a flat volcanic plain thought to be relatively clear of large rocks. It is part of a larger feature known as Mare Imbrium that forms the right eye of the “Man in the Moon”.

Other details of the mission are sketchy; the rover and lander are powered by solar panels but other sources suggest they also carry radioisotope heating units (RHUs) containing plutonium-238 to keep them warm during the cold lunar night.

Chang’e 3 is “the most complicated and difficult task yet in China’s exploration of space” and incorporates lots of new technology, Xinhua reported Wu Zhijian, a spokesman with the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, as saying.

The launch comes at a time when the Asian superpower is asserting itself in other areas, such as control of airspace over the East China Sea. China considers its space programme a symbol of its rising global stature and technological advancement, as well as of the Communist Party’s success in reversing the fortunes of the once impoverished nation.

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Apollo 18 Facebook page reminded last night about the upcoming movie. Apollo 18 is a science fiction horror film, shot in a footage style, directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego and produced by Timur Bekmambetov. 

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Initially scheduled in April, with a teaser trailer in february, the release date was postponed to September and a theatrical trailer appeared on June, 24.

The plot begins from the idea that there was a secret lunar mission that never returned.
Apollo 18 mission was launched in 1974. It followed after the 1972 Apollo 17 the mission that supposedly never went back to Earth.

The film speculates about the cause(s) the United States never started another expedition to the moon. It insinuates a government coverup of the mission of the findings that the crew has been atacked by parasitic lifeforms on the moon.

Apollo 18 Web site: “There is a reason we have never gone back to the moon”

The US government and NASA state that Apollo 17 was the last manned mission and denie the existence of the Apollo 18 mission.
The Apollo program started in 1961 and on July 20th, 1969 Apollo 11 commander Neil Alden Armstrong walked on the moon. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr followed him shortly after.  Michael Collins remained on the orbit.

According to NASA “Six of the missions — Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 — went on to land on the moon, studying soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields and solar wind.”

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The last man who left the moon was (till now) Eugene Cernan. He was the commander of Apollo 17, the eleventh and final manned mission.
There were suppositions that in fact the mankind never stepped on the moon. Films were made and books were written about this subject.

It’s weird though that after 50 years the humankind made so little progress regarding the space exploration.
The Apollo 18 will try to answer this question in an artistic way on September, 2nd.[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”stanga”]

Apollo 18 Poster

Apollo 18 Poster