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
Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark demonstrated a new nanotechnology-based printing technique that produces long-lasting color images on plastic at resolutions up to 127,000 dots per inch, many times more detailed than traditional laser printers. The system uses a laser to alter the structure of nanoscale structures on the plastic material. (A nanometer is […]
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This is NASA’s new “space fabric” in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]