Visions of the Moon

NASA recently held a competition for people to put together multimedia visions of life on the Moon. Winners of the 2010 Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest have now been selected from 200 or so international student entrants. As well as visual media such as photography, three-dimensional stuff and video, literary efforts were also accepted in this year’s competition. The entries were judged by an international panel of scientists, artists and educators and a gallery of the winning entries is here.

One website allowing real views of the Moon in return for finding craters and other features is Moon Zoo. The website has begun a blog of related bits of news and projects. This entry for example introduces Transient Lunar Phenomena – what are they, why look for them. This one introduces the motivations behind the project itself, mentioning also the forum.

But it isn’t just the Earth’s Moon making a splash, several small moons of Saturn have too. Or at least a propeller, for that is the shape a gravitationally interacting shepherd moon creates in the ring particles as it passes through a gap in them. It energises particles in lower orbits, bringing them up and brakes those on higher orbits, slowing them down, keeping Saturn’s rings trimmed nicely. The propellers are far larger than the moon’s themselves, allowing the Cassini probe to detect new moons in Saturn’s rings. Fittingly, the propeller moons have been named after aviators and may well shed light on the behaviour of disc embedded objects such as planets forming in discs around stars.

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