Sunshine Recorder

Misfits: From the Moon

Here are the lesser-known photos from NASA’s Apollo program, too sun-burned or out-of-focus to make it to mainstream, uncovered after many hours of browsing the Apollo Archive.

Clint Mansell - The Nursery

Clinton Darryl “Clint” Mansell, (born 7 January 1963) is an English musician, composer, and former lead singer and guitarist of the band Pop Will Eat Itself. After the disbanding of Pop Will Eat Itself in 1996, Mansell was introduced to film scoring when director Darren Aronofsky, hired him to score his debut film, π. Mansell then wrote the score for the next Aronofsky film, Requiem for a Dream, which has been well received. Its main composition “Lux Æterna” has become extremely popular, appearing in a wide variety of advertisements and film trailers. Mansell’s composition for The Fountain was nominated for Best Original Score at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards. His other notable film scores include Moon, Smokin’ Aces, The Wrestler, and Black Swan.

"Artificial Moon" by Wang Yuyang

In this work, Wang Yuyang used a panoply of energy-saving light bulbs to create a vast incandescent four-metre sphere. In a poetic way Artificial Moon draws attention to the collision between the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial’, commenting on how the timeless phenomena of the stars and the moon are becoming increasingly obscured by the light pollution common in many contemporary cities. In 2008, Artificial Moon was suspended, like a giant Chinese lantern, between the trees of a public park in the city of Xujiahui in China, one of the few green spots in an urban context in which the real moon is often eclipsed by the radiance of a brightly illuminated metropolitan sky.


An astronaut miner extracting the precious moon gas that promises to reverse the Earth’s energy crisis nears the end of his three-year contract, and makes an ominous discovery in this psychological sci-fi film starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. For three long years, Sam Bell has dutifully harvested Helium 3 for Lunar, a company that claims it holds the key to solving humankind’s energy crisis. As Sam’s contract comes to an end, the lonely astronaut looks forward to returning to his wife and  daughter down on Earth, where he will retire early and attempt to make up for lost time. His work on the Selene moon base has been enlightening — the solitude helping him to reflect on the past and overcome some serious anger issues — but the isolation is starting to make Sam uneasy. With only two weeks to go before he begins his journey back to Earth, Sam starts feeling strange: he’s having inexplicable visions, and hearing impossible sounds. Then, when a routine extraction goes horribly awry, it becomes apparent that Lunar hasn’t been entirely straightforward with Sam about their plans for replacing him. The new recruit seems strangely familiar, and before Sam returns to Earth, he will grapple with the realization that the life he has created may not be entirely his own. Up there, hundreds of thousands of miles from home, it appears that Sam’s contract isn’t the only thing about to expire. 
Watch the trailer.

An astronaut miner extracting the precious moon gas that promises to reverse the Earth’s energy crisis nears the end of his three-year contract, and makes an ominous discovery in this psychological sci-fi film starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. For three long years, Sam Bell has dutifully harvested Helium 3 for Lunar, a company that claims it holds the key to solving humankind’s energy crisis. As Sam’s contract comes to an end, the lonely astronaut looks forward to returning to his wife and daughter down on Earth, where he will retire early and attempt to make up for lost time. His work on the Selene moon base has been enlightening — the solitude helping him to reflect on the past and overcome some serious anger issues — but the isolation is starting to make Sam uneasy. With only two weeks to go before he begins his journey back to Earth, Sam starts feeling strange: he’s having inexplicable visions, and hearing impossible sounds. Then, when a routine extraction goes horribly awry, it becomes apparent that Lunar hasn’t been entirely straightforward with Sam about their plans for replacing him. The new recruit seems strangely familiar, and before Sam returns to Earth, he will grapple with the realization that the life he has created may not be entirely his own. Up there, hundreds of thousands of miles from home, it appears that Sam’s contract isn’t the only thing about to expire. 

Watch the trailer.


Life and the Seas of Europa 
Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has been of interest to astronomers for hundreds of years, and to planetary scientists since it was first imaged by the Pioneer spacecraft in the 1970s. Since then the NASA missions Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo and most recently New Horizons have all paid the moon a visit, and thanks to the remarkable high resolution imagery returned by Galileo in particular, it is possible that scientists may have uncovered the single most promising candidate for hosting astrobiology in our Solar System to date.
Europa is a moon with a difference. The smallest of the Galilean satellites, and the second most proximate to Jupiter, Europa has a surface topography matched by no known planet or moon. It is smooth and bright, and its young surface – only 40-90 million years old, is relatively devoid of significant impact craters when compared to its Jovian neighbours Ganymede and Callisto. The icy shell of Europa is pockmarked with a series of prominent crisscrossing surface features known as lineae, but also with domes, albedo features and surface ridges, all thought to be the geomorphological products of a subterranean ocean of liquid water churning slowly beneath the brittle crust. Jupiter and its extensive family of moons orbit the Sun at roughly 5 Astronomical Units (AU), a distance at which the light of our nearest star is faint and weak, and planetary surface temperatures are well below freezing. Nevertheless, it is thought that beneath Europa’s ~20km thick crust an ocean of salty liquid water exists, perhaps a hundred kilometres deep, warmed by the internal heat generated by Europa’s rapid transit around Jupiter, as well as from the gravitational interaction with its Laplace resonance partners, Ganymede and Io.
The Europan ocean represents a completely unique geochemical system and a potential astrobiological repository unlike any other in our Solar System. Cut off from light and the planetary surface, the circulation of Europa’s salty subsurface ocean is most likely driven by convection from below, where heat and reductant input originates directly from the upper mantle. Oxidation products such as oxygen and hydrogen peroxide may be formed via radioactive decay within the ocean and ice shell, but also produced and deposited extensively on the surface crust via ion irradiation. These products are likely to be the Europan ocean’s main source of oxidising power, eventually penetrating the ice/ocean barrier under conditions of preferential or partial melting of the surface crust, possibly due to a localised plume of upwelling warm water from below. Ubiquitous lineae, surface ridges and ‘chaotic’ terrain on the surface of Europa are put forward as evidence of this process occurring over timescales of 10 – 100 million years. Whether a discreet boundary exists at the surface crust/ocean interface or if an intermediate layer of slushy material separates the two zones is not immediately clear.

Life and the Seas of Europa

Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has been of interest to astronomers for hundreds of years, and to planetary scientists since it was first imaged by the Pioneer spacecraft in the 1970s. Since then the NASA missions Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo and most recently New Horizons have all paid the moon a visit, and thanks to the remarkable high resolution imagery returned by Galileo in particular, it is possible that scientists may have uncovered the single most promising candidate for hosting astrobiology in our Solar System to date.

Europa is a moon with a difference. The smallest of the Galilean satellites, and the second most proximate to Jupiter, Europa has a surface topography matched by no known planet or moon. It is smooth and bright, and its young surface – only 40-90 million years old, is relatively devoid of significant impact craters when compared to its Jovian neighbours Ganymede and Callisto. The icy shell of Europa is pockmarked with a series of prominent crisscrossing surface features known as lineae, but also with domes, albedo features and surface ridges, all thought to be the geomorphological products of a subterranean ocean of liquid water churning slowly beneath the brittle crust. Jupiter and its extensive family of moons orbit the Sun at roughly 5 Astronomical Units (AU), a distance at which the light of our nearest star is faint and weak, and planetary surface temperatures are well below freezing. Nevertheless, it is thought that beneath Europa’s ~20km thick crust an ocean of salty liquid water exists, perhaps a hundred kilometres deep, warmed by the internal heat generated by Europa’s rapid transit around Jupiter, as well as from the gravitational interaction with its Laplace resonance partners, Ganymede and Io.

The Europan ocean represents a completely unique geochemical system and a potential astrobiological repository unlike any other in our Solar System. Cut off from light and the planetary surface, the circulation of Europa’s salty subsurface ocean is most likely driven by convection from below, where heat and reductant input originates directly from the upper mantle. Oxidation products such as oxygen and hydrogen peroxide may be formed via radioactive decay within the ocean and ice shell, but also produced and deposited extensively on the surface crust via ion irradiation. These products are likely to be the Europan ocean’s main source of oxidising power, eventually penetrating the ice/ocean barrier under conditions of preferential or partial melting of the surface crust, possibly due to a localised plume of upwelling warm water from below. Ubiquitous lineae, surface ridges and ‘chaotic’ terrain on the surface of Europa are put forward as evidence of this process occurring over timescales of 10 – 100 million years. Whether a discreet boundary exists at the surface crust/ocean interface or if an intermediate layer of slushy material separates the two zones is not immediately clear.

The Moon’s Evolution in 2.5 Minutes: Over time, our Moon has been changed from a glowing ball of magma, to being pummeled and pounded by impacts, to evolving to the current constant companion we see in the sky each night. With the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we’re getting a better understanding of just what has taken place on the Moon over its history. Thanks to the folks at Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio, this video provides a look at 4.5 billion years of the Moon in just two and a half minutes.

Clint Mansell - Memories (from Moon’s Soundtrack)

Clinton Darryl “Clint” Mansell, (born 7 January 1963) is an English musician, composer, and former lead singer and guitarist of the band Pop Will Eat Itself. After the disbanding of Pop Will Eat Itself in 1996, Mansell was introduced to film scoring when director Darren Aronofsky, hired him to score his debut film, π. Mansell then wrote the score for the next Aronofsky film, Requiem for a Dream, which has been well received. Its main composition “Lux Æterna” has become extremely popular, appearing in a wide variety of advertisements and film trailers. Mansell’s composition for The Fountain was nominated for Best Original Score at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards. His other notable film scores include Moon, Smokin’ Aces, The Wrestler, and Black Swan.


 
A new index scores planetary bodies on their suitability for life: Two decades ago astronomers suspected that planets might orbit other stars, but no one had ever seen one. These days hundreds are known. In a (subscription-only) paper published in the journal Astrobiology researchers, led by Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, have come up with an index that aims to describe just how friendly to life such exoplanets might be. Tipping its hat to the possibility that aliens could have dramatically different biochemistry from earthlings, the index confines itself to measuring big-picture factors such as the presence of a solid surface, the average surface temperature, the strength of a planet’s magnetosphere (which helps shield it from cosmic radiation) and the like. Unsurprisingly, Earth comes top of the list. Interestingly, though, Titan, a Saturnian moon covered in hydrocarbon lakes, takes the second spot in our solar system, ahead of Mars. There is still some doubt about whether Gliese 581g, the highest-scoring exoplanet, actually exists; but the existence of its companion world Gliese 581d, which scores nearly as highly, is uncontroversial. Sadly we won’t be visiting any time soon—the Gliese-581 system is around 20 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Libra.

A new index scores planetary bodies on their suitability for life: Two decades ago astronomers suspected that planets might orbit other stars, but no one had ever seen one. These days hundreds are known. In a (subscription-only) paper published in the journal Astrobiology researchers, led by Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, have come up with an index that aims to describe just how friendly to life such exoplanets might be. Tipping its hat to the possibility that aliens could have dramatically different biochemistry from earthlings, the index confines itself to measuring big-picture factors such as the presence of a solid surface, the average surface temperature, the strength of a planet’s magnetosphere (which helps shield it from cosmic radiation) and the like. Unsurprisingly, Earth comes top of the list. Interestingly, though, Titan, a Saturnian moon covered in hydrocarbon lakes, takes the second spot in our solar system, ahead of Mars. There is still some doubt about whether Gliese 581g, the highest-scoring exoplanet, actually exists; but the existence of its companion world Gliese 581d, which scores nearly as highly, is uncontroversial. Sadly we won’t be visiting any time soon—the Gliese-581 system is around 20 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Libra.


A Trip Around Our Solar System: Robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information for us right now all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn; several others on their way to smaller bodies; and a few on their way out of the solar system entirely. On Mars, a rover called Spirit has just been officially left for dead, after two years of radio silence from it — but its twin, Opportunity, continues on its mission, now more than 2,500 days beyond its originally planned 90-days. With all these eyes in the sky, I’d like to take the opportunity to put together a photo album of our Solar system — a set of family portraits, of sorts — as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries. [38 photos]

A Trip Around Our Solar System: Robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information for us right now all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn; several others on their way to smaller bodies; and a few on their way out of the solar system entirely. On Mars, a rover called Spirit has just been officially left for dead, after two years of radio silence from it — but its twin, Opportunity, continues on its mission, now more than 2,500 days beyond its originally planned 90-days. With all these eyes in the sky, I’d like to take the opportunity to put together a photo album of our Solar system — a set of family portraits, of sorts — as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries. [38 photos]


A pair of Saturn’s moons appear insignificant compared to the immensity  of the planet in this Cassini spacecraft view along the terminator where  day transitions to night. The larger moon Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is also  on the left, just a bit closer to the center of the image. Epimetheus  (70 miles, or 113 kilometers across) appears as a tiny black speck on  the far left of the image, left of Enceladus, just below the thin line  of the rings. The rings cast wide shadows on the southern hemisphere of  the planet. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on  Nov. 4, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of  near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at  a distance of approximately 746,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from  Saturn and roughly 600,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Enceladus  and Epimetheus. Image scale is about 47 miles (75 kilometers) per pixel  on Saturn, 37 miles (60 kilometers) per pixel on Enceladus and 41 miles  (66 kilometers) per pixel Epimetheus. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the  European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion  Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in  Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in  Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were  designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at  the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Source.

A pair of Saturn’s moons appear insignificant compared to the immensity of the planet in this Cassini spacecraft view along the terminator where day transitions to night. The larger moon Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is also on the left, just a bit closer to the center of the image. Epimetheus (70 miles, or 113 kilometers across) appears as a tiny black speck on the far left of the image, left of Enceladus, just below the thin line of the rings. The rings cast wide shadows on the southern hemisphere of the planet. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 4, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 746,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn and roughly 600,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Enceladus and Epimetheus. Image scale is about 47 miles (75 kilometers) per pixel on Saturn, 37 miles (60 kilometers) per pixel on Enceladus and 41 miles (66 kilometers) per pixel Epimetheus. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Source.


The longest lunar eclipse in over ten years animated the night sky on December 10. The red hue resulted from the sun’s light passing through the earth’s atmosphere. Viewers in Asia had the best view of the total eclipse, while those watching in Europe saw part of it at moonrise, and North Americans caught part of it as the moon set. It was not visible in South America or Antarctica. The next total eclipse will occur in 2014. [27 photos]

The longest lunar eclipse in over ten years animated the night sky on December 10. The red hue resulted from the sun’s light passing through the earth’s atmosphere. Viewers in Asia had the best view of the total eclipse, while those watching in Europe saw part of it at moonrise, and North Americans caught part of it as the moon set. It was not visible in South America or Antarctica. The next total eclipse will occur in 2014. [27 photos]