Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LCROSS impact might upset the aliens

According to this guy, the LCROSS mission which launched last week (That's it in the picture. I was there! It was awesome!) and will impact into the Lunar South Pole on October 9th of this year (mark your calendars), breaks international law, and may rile up the Moon's alien colonists.

I've got to tell you, the thing that bothers me most about this article is not the ridiculousness of the whole alien thing, it's that he talks about this supposed alien base being on the "dark" side of the Moon. People, the Moon doesn't have a "dark" side! It has a near side and a far side (or "backside" but I've been told that because "backside" had other connotations I should avoid using it). The far side has a two-week long night, followed by a two-week long day, just like the side we get to see.

Also, and I realize this is a minor point in the scope of his overall arguments, but the US never signed the Moon Treaty, and therefore, even if LCROSS did violate it (which it doesn't), it still wouldn't matter.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Paintings

Some recent paintings:

Titan and Enceledus

Four Moons

Earth and Moon #4

The Great Moon Rock Heist

So, this article came out about a month ago now, I'm a little behind (see previous post), but I just couldn't let it slip by.

It's a rather entertaining read. It's the story of how an intern, Thad, stole some Moon rocks from JSC back in 2002, or I should say, it's Thad's version of the story. Although Thad and I never crossed paths, I too was an intern in building 31 and then a grad student and then a postdoc, and I can assure you that nearly every word of this account is totally fabricated, with the possible exception of this, my favorite line, "Sometime between the heist and its resolution, Tiffany and Thad arranged the Moon rocks on a bed—and had sex amongst them." Ugh, the contamination! Not to mention, that can't have been comfortable.

The truth is that the safe Thad and his girlfriend stole was from a scientist's office not the vault, and the altruistic spin he tries to put on his escapades, that he was taking "returned samples" that no longer had any scientific value is ludicrous. All of the Moon rocks have scientific value, even samples that have been previously studied, and these particular samples had been allocated to the safe's owner for use in specific experiments.

Thad has served his sentence and is apparently now trying to get a book deal. I wish him luck. No, on second though, I don't. What an ass.

Life update

So I haven't posted a blog entry in months. I blame Facebook and Twitter for eating up all my free internet time. Also, I moved across the country, again (for those keeping score, that's the 5th time in 6 years), and started a new job (not a "postdoc" or a "fellowship", an actual job - I know, I'm shocked too). Still working for NASA, but now I'm at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama. Alabama is one place I never thought I would end up living, and while I'm still adjusting to the Southern culture, I have to say that Huntsville is actually a great little city. So here's hoping I don't have to move again for a while, because moving sucks. In the meantime, I will try to get back to at least semi-regular posts here, and I also occasionally post at the Women in Planetary Science blog.