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Gold rush? jovom

Why we should mine the moon

To date, all human economic activity has depended on the material and energy resources of a single planet; understandably, perhaps. It is conceivable though that future advances in space exploration could…
With private space missions just around the corner, we need to think about keeping important lunar sites safe. Cultsofhteshadow/Flickr

One giant leap for preservation: protecting moon landing sites

Who will preserve the first lunar landing site at Tranquility Base for future generations? It seems an odd question given the fact that this extraordinary archaeological site was created on July 21, 1969…
Eclipse at sunrise over Richmond, Virginia, USA in November 2013. Sky Noir (Bill Dickinson)/Flickr

Explainer: what is a solar eclipse?

Each month, at the time of new moon, the sun and moon are together in the daytime sky. Most of the time the moon passes by unnoticed. But at least twice a year, somewhere on Earth will see the moon pass…
Don’t forget to ask for a receipt. Niall Carson/PA

Who owns the moon?

Whether you’re into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space. Some “pioneers” even believe humanity’s survival depends on colonising celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars…
Just before totality on a total lunar eclipse. Flickr/John Johnson

Explainer: what is a lunar eclipse?

At least twice a year, Earth comes between the sun and the moon. The result is a lunar eclipse, where we see the splendid sight of Earth’s shadow falling across the moon. Lunar eclipses are wonderful to…

Get ready for a total lunar eclipse

Look up towards the east on Wednesday night (October 8) and a total lunar eclipse will be visible from across Australia. The moon will slowly move through Earth’s shadow, as the sun, Earth and moon fall…

Catching the planets and new views of Mars

Looking west after sunset on Friday September 26, the thin waxing crescent moon forms a triangle with Mercury and Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. You can see how far Mercury has…
Our moon orbits the Earth in the same way satellites do. Flickr/Alexey Kljatov

Explainer: how do satellites orbit the Earth?

Take a look at the moon and it isn’t hard to imagine it as a planet. A 3,476 kilometres-in-diameter ball of rock, with basalt plains and mountain ranges, whose gravitational pull produces tides here on…

Supermoon … or not so super?

A beautiful full moon is set to rise this Sunday night, August 10. It will be spectacular and I encourage everyone to go outside and have a look. But the question is: will it be a supermoon? Technically…

Third time lucky: Saturn’s disappearing act

On the night of Monday August 4, mainland Australia will see Saturn disappear behind the moon. It’s the third time this year that the moon and Saturn will perfectly line up, as viewed from our part of…
No longer the unreachable object, the moon became less ethereal after the ‘giant leap for mankind’. Petri Damstén/Flickr

Apollo 11 changed the way we felt about the moon, 45 years ago

Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, after multiple Apollo lunar missions unfolded through the 1960s in front of an awestruck global audience. But many wondered…
Shooting for the exomoon. CBC11

Move over exoplanets, exomoons may harbour life too

In the Star Wars universe, everyone’s favourite furry aliens, the Ewoks, famously lived on the “forest moon of Endor”. In scientific terms, the Ewok’s home world would be referred to as an exomoon, which…
How long can you stay there depends on practice and physics. elisfanclub

Moon’s gravity alone cannot create the world’s largest tides

“Tide goes in, tide goes out…you can’t explain that.” So claimed US talkshow anchor Bill O’Reilly, in a baffling attempt to discredit atheism which became something of a YouTube sensation. I have been…
One more in the sky, this time on a grey rock. Xinhua

Prestige and one-upmanship fuel China’s lunar rover

Earlier this week China launched one of its venerable Long March rockets. That event in itself is no longer news as China has become one of the world’s busiest and most reliable providers of satellite…
Lunar heritage sites such as Tranquility Base – shown here with Buzz Aldrin in 1969 – must be protected … but a US bill is not appropriate. NASA/Neil A. Armstrong

Look, but don’t touch: US law and the protection of lunar heritage

With India and China planning lunar surface missions, privately-funded space entrepreneurs competing for the US$40 million Google Lunar X Prize and discussions around lunar mining intensifying, working…

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