Above is Lunokhod 1, a Soviet robotic rover that landed on the moon in 1970 and eventually died, leaving its final resting place unknown. That is, until a few months ago when UC San Diego astrophysicist Tom Murphy fired off laser pulses at the moon and detected the photons reflected back in the ultrasensitive telescope at the Apache Point Observatory. It turns out that Murphy had found Lunokhod 1. Now, he's planning to use it to precisely measure lunar motion and test theories of gravity. From IEEE Spectrum:
Murphy suspected that (Apache Point Observatory's) superior capability might allow him to find the long-lost rover, and he decided to devote just a small percentage of telescope time to test this whim. At first, his attempts to locate the rover were fruitless. Because of atmospheric divergence, the laser pulse forms a beam footprint on the moon of 2 km. He later found out that he was working with coordinates 4.5 km off target. Then, in March, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter beamed back photographs of the Russian lunar landers Luna 17 and 21. "It was really fantastic imaging," Murphy says. "You could even see the rovers' tracks. You could trace out where they went and what their journey looked like."
"Forgotten Soviet Moon Rover Beams Light Back to Earth
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
This is NASA’s new “space fabric” in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Founded in 1970 as Xerox’s R&D division, PARC was a dream factory that brought the world laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface that led to Windows and the Macintosh, ubiquitous computing, and many other technologies that we now take for granted. Why made the place so damn special? Alan Kay, who pioneered networked computing […]
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]