Operation Avalanche?

Where have I seen that plot before?

Oh, yeah, Capricorn One:

Is this supposed to be a sequel? A prequel? A re-imagining? A remake? Or, a ripoff?  I’m a sci-fi junkie, but I won’t be wasting my time with this.  I didn’t even enjoy Capricorn One that much.  But, it did the conspiracy theory justice.

That Green Moon meme

First of all, let me get this off my chest, I hate memes. 99% of them are bogus. 99% of them are only there as click bait. If you you think you’re on top of the game because you forward every meme you stumble across, step away from the Webdream, this ain’t the place for you. Now that that’s clear, let’s move on to the latest garbage infesting Facebook, the green moon meme.

Now, according to this one,

“several planets are going to align”……

Let’s stop there for a second, shall we?  “Several” planets align every single day.

“Which will cause the Earth’s Moon”…….

How, pray tell, will tiny little dots in the sky, most of which are well beyond the Earth’s orbit, affect our Moon?  Get a pencil and paper, draw them real quick, then show us how they possibly could interfere with light that is coming directly from the Sun and hitting the Moon.  And remember basic physics still apply, NONE of those “several” planets actually emit any light whatsoever.  So, it’s got to bounce of that unnamed planet, reflect billions of miles back the Moon, and be strong enough to affect the wavelengths coming from the Moon.  That’s all.

Do yourself, and more importantly, all of us, a big favor, and fact-check your memes before pushing them on us.

And if you can’t seem to stop yourself from doing that, at least hold off on the planets aligning bull.  That will never, ever, impact anything.  All nine could align and nothing would happen.

But if you really want to look smart, DON’T SHARE MEMES.

Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell was the first man to set foot on the Moon after the near disastrous Apollo 13 mission.  Their trip to the Moon re-assured a rather nervous country that space travel could be fairly safe.  Within a few years after their return to the Moon, the Apollo mission was cancelled without fanfare and no man has stepped on the Moon since.  The Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts have always been my biggest idols.  Nothing to me defined guts more than leaving your planet in a tiny, tiny, metal can.

Sea water on Enceladus?

Enceladus has always been my #1 favoritist place to look for life.  It’s not all that far away, and it seems to have a rather active geology.

Now, we get this:

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and predominantly low in salt far away from the moon. But closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt water.

That little moon just keeps getting cooler and cooler all the time.  Wonder when Virgin Galactic will start taking vacation trips there?

Cassini Iapetus Flyby

This is getting cooler than I really thought it would. Check out this incredibly ugly little Saturnian moon, Iapetus.

JPL has a lot more pics. It’s getting really close now. However, unlike Io or Europa, the closer it gets to Iapetus, the uglier it gets. This poor little moon has obviously been battered hard by meteor strikes. It’s little spine circling the moon is the source of a lot of speculation. However, my completely uneducated guess is those two really large strikes on the same side have something to do with it. If you’ve ever squeezed a pingpong ball really hard you’d know what I’m referring to. That’s just a guess tho. I’ll leave the hard science up to those who get paid to do it. I’m in the boat of those people who just LOVE seeing this for no other reason than curiosity.

Titan

Imagine yourself just floating around in your spaceship.  You’ve got nothing better to do than look at objects like this for hours at a time.   That sounds so good to me right now.

Titan is a beautiful object.  Although only a moon of Saturn, it has more features than most “planets”.  Although I’m not too excited about visiting Mars, I would like to have rovers land on places like Europa, Io, and Titan.  There’s probably no chance of life on any of them, but we knew that about the Moon, Mars, Venus, and everywhere else we’ve gone.  Let’s just do it for the kicks of seeing what the rest of the universe has to look at.  We might figure some important things out along the way.  That, and better pictures of Titan are more than worth the cost.

What is a Moon?

We now have the most impressive picture ever taken of Phobos, which circles Mars.

It’s a rock.  Nothing but a rock.  Granted it’s a big rock.  But, it’s still just a rock.  Is that a moon?  Is anything that orbits a planet truly a moon?  Is there some more definitive definition of a moon?  By the existing definition, Earth has probably 8,000 moons by now, with 7,999 being man-made objects.

That’s an asteroid called “Annefrank”.  It looks a lot like Phobos.  If “Annefrank” suddenly started circling a planet, it would no longer be an asteroid, it would be a moon.  So, you could come to the conclusion that moons are objects that serve no other purpose than to just circle a planet.  However:

That’s Titan, which circles Saturn.  It’s got color, it’s got an atmosphere, and taking a leap of faith, it could support life.

That’s the surface of Europa, which circles Jupiter.  That’s ice you see there, evidence of the basic element needed to support life.  Speculation is life might exist under the frozen shell.

And Io, which looks a lot like a planet.  Less likely to support life, but still has a lot of features a planet would.

What I’m leading to is physically the only difference in definition between a moon and a planet is what it orbits.  That worked fine 100 years ago, but in lieu of being able to actually visit these places, and becoming very familiar with the differences moons have, I would like to see a better definition of what constitutes moons and planets.  If there’s life out there, who cares what it orbits?  To me a moon is something not likely to support life, a planet should have some physical characteristics to define it could support life, such as an atmosphere.  Io and Europa are more of a planet than they are a moon.  Annefrank is as much a moon as Phobos is.  When someone says something is a moon, I’d like to have a clear visualization and expectation of what it is.  If they say something’s a planet, I’d like to know I could get excited about it.

Just another useless rant from Moon, who has a lot of atmosphere.