Thursday, August 30, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon - Full Moon "Moonshots" / photos! Also, we are off to Florida!

Tonight/tomorrow is a Blue Moon. There are multiple definitions including the third full moon in a season that has four, or the second full moon of a month (more info here). The actual full Moon will occur tomorrow morning at 9:57am EDT (August 31st, 2012), the approximate time for when Jen and I hit to road to move to Florida. I will be starting my new job at Space Florida next week! I have had a great 20 months at MIT working with Dava Newman and Jeff Hoffman in the Man-Vehicle Laboratory (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics) and with Maria Zuber and Ben Weiss (briefly) in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). With the sad passing of legendary Moonwalker Neil Armstrong (there is a photo of when I met Neil at the bottom of this post), I was inspired by a blog post about how to photograph the Moon. I decided on my last night in Cambridge before our move, to try and play with my camera settings to capture my favorite neighbor with some cool Moonshots. For the most part the photos were so-so, but the last shot I took did some squirrelly effects and the background of the image surrounding the Moon is highlighted by blue streaks! For the camera buffs out there I was shooting with a Nikon D90 in RAW(.nef) on S-mode and the image data was recorded as: Focal length 92, F number 5.6, Exposure Program 4, and Exposure time 1/250. And even stranger, when you zoom in on the Moon it looks like a QR code mixed with a hedge maze. The photo randomness, I mean artistic composition, is truly only possible once in a Blue Moon, and it's a great day to be moving to Florida!

Blue streaks caused by some funky digital effects highlight my Blue Moon photo.
If you scan this photo you will safely reamin on my website. What an awesome QR code!
Prof. David Klaus snapped this photo of Neil Armstong and I at the 2012 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, CA. I told him about my PhD lunar dust abrasion research and how his reporting and lessons learned during on the Moon was a key resource and how their journey is still an inspiration. You can watch Neil's X-15 (my favorite spaceplane) research talk from NSRC 2012 on YouTube.

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