This story from BBC News about NASA’s missing moon rocks is absolutely tragic. Accidents do happen but people losing and selling so many of these fragments seems to place so little value on the herculean feat of the human race making it to the moon.
“Each ‘goodwill moon rock’ was encased in a lucite ball and mounted on a wooden plaque with the recipient nations’ flag attached.”
Eid Mubarak, But When?
by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer
Celebratory preparations are underway for Eid ul-Fitr, a multi-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Eid ul-Fitr (also known as Eid al-Fitr) officially begins with the sighting of the new crescent moon. There’s been controversy and confusion leading up to this year’s Eid festivities about when the holiday starts. Some countries like India and Pakistan won’t see a new moon until Wednesday, August 31st while stargazers in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East will be able to see the sliver of a crescent moon on Tuesday, August 30th. The Saudi Supreme Court made a late-breaking decision that Eid will begin on Tuesday. According to The Washington Post, it’s customary for many countries to follow Saudi Arabia’s example as it’s home to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
Are you celebrating Eid ul-Fitr this year? What do you have planned for your Eid celebration?
About the image: a Thai Muslim man uses binoculars to spot the moon on the eve of the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in Thailand’s southern province of Yala on August 29, 2011. (photo: Muhammad Sabri/AFP/Getty Images)
The images from LIFE are incredible, but can anybody tell me if those cross marks are part of the camera equipment or a layout grid? And what are those white reflections?
42 years ago today Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon — here, LIFE takes you on a stroll down memory lane with the iconic images from that journey.
~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Making the Darkness Luminous: Celebrating Winter Solstice with My Family
by C. Hawk Croft, guest contributor
"Yalda Night" (photo: S.Ali.Al Mosawi/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)
“”[W]hile we can’t stop the earth from turning, we can choose to experience each revolution so deeply and completely that even the dark becomes luminous…”
—Starhawk, in The Spiral Dance
At first glance, it might seem odd to spend the longest night of the year celebrating the return of the sun. It’s dark. The days are short and cold. The warmth of the summer sun seems hidden in the fuzziness of your memory as you sit huddled around the wood stove, wrapped in a blanket and wearing two pairs of old, faithful socks.
For many of our Pagan ancestors, this was the essence of the winter solstice mystery.
The Moon’s a Looking-Glass
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Wired Science has posted some incredible images from NASA of the first complete topographic map of the moon. These magical images also serve a practical function. They create a way of seeing and analyzing the formation and development of our solar system by way of its craters. Our planet has a shared history of the moon: “Among other things, the map confirms theories of an onslaught of massive asteroids around 3.9 billion years ago that likely evaporated any water present on Earth at the time.”
There’s a lesson here too. If we point our lens at something a bit nearer to us — whether it’s an interstellar object or the neighbor next door — we just may learn something about ourselves, and our future. Or at least we’ll see new beauty in the familiar, both near and far.
In the image above, the blue area in the upper right is Oceanus Procellarum, a relatively young and less-cratered area flooded by lunar lava flows. The lunar highlands to the left are heavily cratered in comparison and the oldest region on the moon. (courtesy of NASA/LRO/LOLA/GSFC/MIT/Brown)