All posts by Bob Berman

Sons of Apollo

Sons of Apollo

As for the “first-born son has a higher chance for success” notion, the Apollo astronauts would seem to support such a thesis strongly, since 27 of the 29 were eldest sons.

In search of natural darkness

In search of natural darkness

In our 21st century, more than half the world’s population lives in an urban environment, with natural nocturnal darkness a phenomenon many only read about. But we who live in a rural setting still mostly enjoy the natural night and its splendors. Still, there’s dark and then there’s really dark.

This week’s total eclipse

This week’s total eclipse

If you’ve seen the Great Pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, the Atacama Desert, the Himalayas and maybe even rented a houseboat on Lake Powell, is there any sight that can top all these? Yes. A total solar eclipse. Not a lunar eclipse. And certainly not a partial solar eclipse.

More satellites than stars

More satellites than stars

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, along with a few other companies, are planning to put 12,000 new satellites into low Earth orbit over the next few years. Unlike our existing communications satellites that are parked in geostationary orbits all the way up at 22,300 miles and are utterly invisible, these will definitely appear in the sky.

It wasn’t a black hole, and they can’t see the Great Wall

It wasn’t a black hole, and they can’t see the Great Wall

If you ask anyone the first words spoken from the Moon, they’ll invariably mention the “One small step” speech. Actually, the first lunar words were, “Okay, engine stop,” uttered by Buzz Aldrin. Less than a minute later, Armstrong said, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!” This July 20, 1969 photo of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module interior shows Aldrin during the lunar landing mission.