Randall Munroe's "Good Question" column in the New York Times is in the vein of his How To and What If books, in which he answers weird science questions with equally weird thoroughness.
In his inaugural column, Munroe answers: "If I Touched the Moon, What Would It Feel Like?"
Touching lunar rocks inside a spacecraft, or in a museum, is one thing; removing a glove and exposing yourself to the vacuum of space is another. In science fiction, terrible things befall such astronauts: their blood boils away, their insides get sucked out.
But removing a glove wouldn’t necessarily be instantly fatal. For the most part, human skin is tough enough to handle brief exposure to a vacuum. If you had a custom spacesuit with a seal around your forearm, you could probably remove your glove during a moonwalk without suffering permanent damage.
It definitely wouldn’t be comfortable. In 1960, during a high-altitude balloon test, Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger’s pressure glove sprang a leak, exposing his right hand to near-vacuum conditions for several hours. His hand swelled up and went numb, but he suffered no permanent damage.
If I Touched the Moon, What Would It Feel Like? [Randall Munroe/New York Times]
Antti Lipponen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute created this troubling but unsurprising chart of almost 140 years of temperature anomalies by country. The data used was from the NASA GISS, Land Ocean Temperature Index. You can probably guess what will happen.
NASA’s AIRS instrument captured this image of Tropical Storm Fay around 2 p.m. local time on July 10, 2020, as the storm swept through New England. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Tropical Storm Fay is sweeping across New England, with the center of the storm making landfall about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north-northeast […]
The deadly 2013 El Reno tornado was 2.5 miles (4 km) wide and killed a team of tornado experts. But as Anton Seimon explains, his colleagues turned that tragedy into an opportunity to confirm a key element of tornado formation.
We all know vital information about ourselves and our private digital accounts can be compromised by cybercriminals. However, many would be frightened to know just how compromised they and their vital data are right this moment. Security researchers Digital Shadows say usernames and passwords for more than 15 billion accounts are currently up for purchase […]
While mosquitoes have certainly earned their title as the deadliest animal on earth, their impact on most of our lives is usually a lot less consequential. But even though they might not transmit a disease to you or seriously affect your life, being a blood donor for one of those insects is certainly an annoyance. […]
The bar has been raised on home video production. So just in case you haven’t been on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or other video-heavy platforms lately, the days of the boring, white-walled, locked-down selfie video that looks like it could have been filmed by hostage-takers doesn’t really cut it anymore. Thankfully, your filming options have also […]