It’s a fair question. Newt Gingrich’s assininery notwithstanding, it’s worth considering carefully. While I’m pretty sure that at some future date we will have a permanent human colony on the Moon — perhaps even a thriving nation over time — the more interesting bit to me is how something like this will come to be.
So when I was asked by the BBC to write an article for their blog called "Future", as part of a series called "Will We Ever…?", the idea of humans living on the Moon seemed like a good topic. My thoughts on this are now up on their site: Will We Ever… Live on the Moon? It outlines one possible path toward a lunar base, and it’s not necessarily the only one. But given recent developments and our current circumstances, the situation I describe in that article isn’t unrealistic.
If we are to one day live on the Moon — and I do seriously think we will — this may be the way it happens. Give it a read and see if you agree!
Image credit: Small Artworks
Tonight at roughly 01:00 GMT (08:00 p.m. Eastern time), the Earth will be at a special place in its orbit: perihelion, the closest point to the Sun. Our orbit around the Sun is not a circle, but actually an ellipse, and in early January every year the Earth’s motion sweeps us closest to our favorite star. We’re only a couple of million kilometers closer than average so it’s a small difference, and not one you’d notice unless you were paying very close attention.
If you want a little more precision, the distance from the center of the Earth to the center of the Sun will be 147,097,206.9 km at that moment. More or less.
Apropos of this, I wrote a guest post about perihelion and what it means for the wonderful BBC blog called 23 Degrees. This is the companion blog for a TV documentary series they’re making (to air later this year) where they traveled the globe to film meteorological and astronomical events that occur during the course of one year. And since they began this journey at perihelion last year, I’m honored to have this anchor position.
So to speak, of course. Anyway, check the Related Posts links below for lots more about past perihelia (they’re listed in reverse chronological order). It’s always fun to write about it, and always fun to learn more about this spinning ball of rock we live on and the giant ball of plasma it orbits.
[UPDATE: the comments are coming in so quickly the server is marking a lot as spam. Don't fret; if you get a message saying your comment is in moderation, I'll get to it and approve it. Please don't comment twice!]
Time for another giveaway contest! And this one spans both time and space: I’ve partnered with my friends at the BBC (!) and their PR firm Bender/Helper Impact to give away three Doctor Who Series 5 DVD or Blu-Ray box sets!
How awesome is this?
These retail for $50 or more, so here’s a chance to get a great early holiday present. This contest will be on the blog only, and all you have to do is leave a comment to enter.
So what are the rules to win this wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey box of stuff?
Starting tonight on the BBC, a new series premiers called "Wonders of the Solar System". The host is some guy named Brian Cox. He’s a particle physicist! I don’t see the BBC hiring me to do a show on the Large Hadron Collider, so this doesn’t seem fair. And I’m a little concerned about how much Brian knows about the LHC, anyway.
Still, it looks cool. Here’s the trailer:
Seriously, this will be awesome. I can’t wait to see it!