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Lunar Lighthouse :. The First Small Step in Returning to the Moon Robert E. Strong strongro@westliberty.edu Elizabeth (Libby) A. Strong strongli@westliberty.edu Richard J. Pollack astronomy@smartcenter.org West Liberty State College SMART-Center &

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Lunar Lighthouse:

The First Small Step in Returning to the Moon

Robert E. Strong strongro@westliberty.edu

Elizabeth (Libby) A. Strong strongli@westliberty.edu

Richard J. Pollack astronomy@smartcenter.org

West Liberty State College SMART-Center &

Sir. Arthur C. Clarke NEO Observatory &

Near Earth Object Foundation

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Next Frontier Question 1:Earth’s Moon or Mars?

  • Moon is a featured disk with phases

  • Mars is a dot

  • With a modest telescope

  • Visibility to unaided eye

  • Moon is a world rich and diverse

  • Mars is usually a disappointment

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Next Frontier Question 2:Earth’s Moon or Mars?

  • Distance and Travel Times Considerations

    • Moon is three days away from Earth, can return at any time

    • Mars is months away from Earth, return is based on orbital placement of Mars and Earth

  • Supplies and Rescue

  • Radiation and Micro-gravity Considerations

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Next Frontier Resolution:Earth’s Moon or Mars?

  • The Earth’s Moon overwhelmingly fits the requirements as the next destination for humanity in space

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Return to the Moon Question 1:

  • How to we get back to the Moon?

    • Need a purpose

    • Need public support

    • Need governmental support

    • Need industry support

    • Need LOTS of $$$$$$$$$

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Purpose for Returning to the Moon, the REAL Reason

  • Insuring the Survival of the Human Species by creating an off Earth habitats for humanity.

  • Construction of Lunar Far-Side Near Earth Object Observatories to safeguard the Earth and Moon from impact hazards

  • Creating limited resources technologies

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Return to the Moon Question 2:

  • How do we capture world wide public:

    • Interest?

    • Excitement? and

    • Support?

  • Answer – the Lunar Lighthouse

    • A West Virginia grown concept for private, grassroots, interactive Lunar exploration

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar Lighthouse

  • The Lunar Lighthouse represents a fundamental intermediate step between the present time of doing very little and the full on human return.

  • What a light house means…

  • What a Lunar Lighthouse means…

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar Lighthouse “BeaconLight” 1

  • The Lunar Lighthouse beacon light will: be too dim to be seen with the unaided eye – thus not offending the poetic sensibilities of romantic humans

  • The apparent visual magnitude of the beacon light will be between 7 and 8, thus easily visible to anyone with a pair of binoculars or small telescope

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar Lighthouse“BeaconLight” 2

  • The beacon light will allow for the first time an degree of interactivity with the Moon

  • The beacon light will be visible as a flashing light for a few seconds every hour on the hour

  • The beacon light will come from the north or south Lunar pole, giving a reference point to the Moon’s surface for the public

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar Lighthouse “BeaconLight” 3

  • The beacon light is a green 555 nm laser light that will scan the Earth producing a flashing effect

  • The beacon light will contain a carrier for Lunar data and possible pictures

  • If location is near Lunar south polar region, “Peaks of Eternal Light” (atop Malapert Mt)

    • Earth visible 100% of time, Sun > 90%

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Earth is the third planet from the Sun

The Moon is a natural satellite of the Earth

Activity: How big is the Moon to “scale” if the Earth were the size of a basketball (23.85 cm in diameter)?

Activity: Once the “scale” size of the Earth and Moon is found, how far, to scale are they?

Earth & Moon Facts

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


If the Earth is a Basketball (23.85 cm) the Moon is a Tennis ball (6.51 cm)

8.11 m at apogee

405,696 km

7.26 m at perigee

363,104 km

7.69 m at mean distance

384,399 km

or 1.28 light sec

Scale 1 cm = 500 km

Size of the Earth and Moon Double World System?

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar LighthouseEARTH / MOON CLASSROOM MODEL

  • The basketball and tennis balls hanging above are scale models of the Earth and Moon. The closest tennis ball represents the Moon at perigee, or closest point to the Earth in the lunar orbit. The tennis ball that is further away represents the Moon at apogee, or its greatest distance from the Earth.

  • The distance between the basketball Earth and the tennis ball(s) Moon is to scale. The sizes represented are also to the same scale. The Moon is about 3/11 the diameter of the Earth and is at a mean distance of 384,399 km from the Earth (7.69 m to scale). At perigee the Moon is 363,104 km from the Earth (7.26 m to scale). This scale model shows the “Earth” and “Moon” (basketball and tennis ball) are 405,696 km apart at apogee (8.11 m to scale)

  • To see the size of the Moon in the Earth’s sky stand under the basketball Earth and look back at the tennis ball Moon. We all see this all the time. To see the size of the Earth as seen in the lunar sky from the surface of the Moon (only seen by 12 Apollo astronauts), stand under one of the tennis ball Moons and look back at the basketball Earth model.

  • Scale: 1 cm = 500 km

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Earth is 6th largest object in the Solar System

The Moon is the 15th largest object in the Solar System

Activity: How many Moon masses does it take to make one Earth mass?

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


EARTH

Mass = 1.0

Volume = 1.0

Density = 5.52 g/cc

Period of Rotation

1 day

Atmosphere N2, O2

Surface Temperature

240 to 320 K

MOON

0.0123 or 1/(81.3)

0.02 or 1/(50)

3.34 g/cc or 0.605 E.

Period of Rotation

27.3 days

None

Surface Temperature

100 to 400 K

Comparing the Earth and the Moon

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


EARTH

Surf. Press. = 1.0 bar

Surf. Gravity = 1.0

Magnetic Field = 1.0

MOON

0.0

0.165 or 1/6

0.0

Comparing the Earth and the Moon

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Earth has a Nitrogen / Oxygen atmosphere, liquid water, and intelligent life

The Moon as yet has none of these

Activities: Pendulum times for the Earth and Moon - different?

More Earth Moon Facts

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


Activity: On Earth 0.248 m long would swing in 1.0 sec

On Moon would swing in 2.43 sec

Like a pendulum on Earth swinging 1.5 m long

The Earth’s gravity at the Surface is almost 6 x that at the Moon’s surface

Activity: Find your weight on the Moon and Earth with scales

Activity: Paperclip boxes for the Earth and the Moon

Even More Earth and Moon Facts

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


“If God had intended humans to travel into space he would have given the Earth a Moon”

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar LighthouseLunar Misconceptions

  • http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/podcast/planets-300.jpg

  • Official “NASA” Image!!

  • The only correct size

    scale here is the Earth

    Moon scale

  • All other planets, asteroids,

    and comets not to scale

  • Space Shuttle does not

    travel to the Moon

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar LighthouseMore Lunar Misconceptions

  • http://www.d.umn.edu/planet/images/explore/NasaPlanets.jpg

  • The Moon is 1/4 the

    size of the Earth

  • The Moon is made

    of green cheese

  • The Moon has no

    gravity

  • The Moon’s phase

    changes behavior

  • Astronauts never

    landed on Moon

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar LighthouseUp Date August-Nov 2007 b

  • Find I have a severe “Kook Index” when I approach an aerospace firm and say:

  • “Hi my name is Robert E. Strong – I want to create the first ever private, grassroots, interactive, and educational Lunar mission to the South Polar region of the Moon …”

  • “… I have no funding just an idea, can you help me and share my vision?”

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


The Lunar LighthouseUp Date March, 2008

  • We (Near Earth Object Foundation) need your help with the Lunar Lighthouse mission

  • We want your ideas and your students ideas for the Lunar Lighthouse mission

    • Science (space and Lunar) to be performed?

    • What the Lunar Lighthouse would do?

    • What equipment would it carry (names)?

  • Include Name, school, e-mail

National Science Teachers Association Conference Convention & Exh. Center, Boston, MA, March 30, 2008


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