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.

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


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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…

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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.

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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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