Neil Armstrong’s Parents Appear on the Classic American TV Show “I’ve Got a Secret,” 1962

“I’ve Got a Secret” was an American game show aired by CBS. By asking a series of questions, a panel had to determine the secret of contestants. On September 17, 1962, Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel Armstrong came on the show and harbored this secret — their son was one of nine men made an astronaut that very day. Almost seven years later, on July 20, 1969, Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. This is why host Garry Moore’s question is all the more amazing: “Now, how would you feel, Mrs. Armstrong, if it turned out – of course nobody knows – but if it turns out that your son is the first man to land on the moon? How would you feel?”

Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, at the age of 82. Here is NASA’s tribute to his life and achievements.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

NASA’s Stunning Tour of the Moon

On 18 June 2009, NASA launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) from Cape Canaveral to conduct investigations that would pave the way for future lunar exploration. The main objectives? To scout for safe and productive landing sites, locate potential resources (with special attention to the possibility of water ice) and characterize the effects of prolonged exposure to lunar radiation. All along, the LRO has collected scientific data about the moon’s topography and composition, resulting in some of the most spectacular images ever taken of the moon. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has assembled some of these images into a wonderful animated tour of the moon. A high-resolution version can be downloaded here.

Bonus: Click through the images from the LRO camera or follow the LRO on Twitter.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

How Large is the Universe?

For centuries, humanity has been utterly transfixed by the cosmos, with generations of astronomers, philosophers and everyday ponderers striving to better understand the grand capsule of our existence. And yet to this day, some of the most basic, fundamental qualities of the universe remain a mystery. How Large is the Universe? is a fascinating 20-minute documentary by Thomas Lucas and Dave Brody exploring the universe’s immense scale of distance and time.

“Recent precision measurements gathered by the Hubble space telescope and other instruments have brought a consensus that the universe dates back 13.7 billion years. Its radius, then, is the distance a beam of light would have traveled in that time – 13.7 billion light years. That works out to about 1.3 quadrillion kilometers. In fact, it’s even bigger – much bigger. How it got so large, so fast, was until recently a deep mystery.”

For more on the subject, see these five fascinating ways to grasp the size and scale of the universe.

Maria Popova is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and DesignObserver, and spends a great deal of time on Twitter.

30 Years of Asteroids in 3 Minutes

This amazing little video charts the location of every asteroid discovered since 1980. As we move into the 1990s, the rate of discovery picks up quite dramatically because we’re now working with vastly improved sky scanning systems. And that means that you will especially want to watch the second half of the video. Below the jump, I’ve pasted some more information that explains what you’re seeing. Thanks to @WesAlwan and Mike for sending this great little clip our way.

via Gizmodo


Stars Orbiting Black Holes

Above, we bring you what astrophysicist Daniel Holz calls “one of the coolest movies in all of science.” What you see here is not exactly straightforward. But it’s the work of UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez, and it essentially shows stars orbiting around a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy over the past 15 earth years. According to Holz, these orbits, filmed with the largest telescopes in the world on Mauna Kea, are simply “one of the best ways (short of the detection of gravitational waves from black hole mergers) of confirming that black holes exist.” And it’s quite rightly an “incredible feat of observational astronomy.” For more, read Holz’s piece on Discover’s Cosmic Variance blog. Another big thanks to Mike for passing this one our way…

10,000 Galaxies in 3D

In 2004, the Hubble Space Telescope captured 10,000 galaxies in an image that’s now called the Ultra Deep Field. It’s our deepest look into the universe. The video above animates the Deep Field image and puts it into 3D. No need to read more. Just watch.

Our Known Universe in Six Minutes

The American Museum of Natural History gives you the whole enchilada in six minutes. The film, moving from Planet Earth to the Big Bang, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, appearing at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010. If you’re in New York, consider visiting the Hayden Planetarium and getting the full experience. Learn more about how to visit here.

Thanks @infoman

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