That little smeary line in the center isn't a camera defect, it's the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), as photographed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which is orbiting the Moon about 5.5 miles above LADEE's orbit. This was a pretty difficult shot to take, given the fact that both spacecraft are moving at speeds of 3600 mph and their perpendicular orbits only briefly intersect. The LRO camera team has a detailed explanation of how they made this shot work:
Since LROC is a pushbroom imager, it builds up an image one line at a time, thus catching a target as small and fast as LADEE is tricky! ... LADEE passed directly beneath the LRO orbit plane a few seconds before LRO crossed the LADEE orbit plane, meaning a straight down LROC image would have just missed LADEE. Now is where the careful planning came into play. The LADEE and LRO teams worked out the solution: simply have LRO roll 34° to the west so the LROC detector (one line) would be in the right place as LADEE passed beneath.
I learned that there are two forms of mimicry in nature — honest mimicry (e.g., bees and wasps look similar and advertise that they can sting) and dishonest mimicry (e.g., some flies look like bees and wasps to trick predators into thinking they can sting). Inés Dawson, a graduate and PhD student at the University […]
In 1960, parapsychologist Anthony Donald Cornell donned a bed sheet and attempted to scare an audience watching an X-rated film in a movie theater. Why? Cornell, a believer in ghosts himself, wanted to understand how people reacted during “apparitional experiences.” Today at the BBC, University of Oxford experimental psychologist Matthew Tompkins explores Cornell’s strange experiments […]
With so many costumes adorning this election season, you might think the Halloween get-ups are overkill. Think again, because David Ng and B.R. Cohen are here to present the official universal survey about your candy favorites for the 2016 hierarchical delineation of candy virtue.
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]