Daily Orbit – The Far Side of the Moon

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,581
    9-19-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, NASA releases a new map of the moon’s entire surface, why Europa’s cracks look so random, and sugar is officially condemned in Amsterdam.

    What’s happening on the dark side of the moon?

    Cracking the case Europa…

    The rhyme and reason behind rhythm and reading…

    And give me some sugar on the Daily Orbit!


    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.


    I guess Pink Floyd won’t be seeing you on the dark side of the Moon.  A newly released NASA video reminds us that there is no such thing as a dark side of the moon-just a far side.  Maybe Pink Floyd should have said “I’ll see you on the far side of the moon.”  Using images taken by the Wide Angle Camera onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA was able to fully map the surface of the moon in a way we’ve never seen before.  On Earth, we only see one side of the moon because the duration of its rotation is equal to the time it takes to orbit our planet.  This new video shows what it would look like if we weren’t locked into this synchronicity.  Of course it’s a view we could never have.   So there is no dark side just a side we can’t see.  The same can often be said about people.


    And astronomers are seeing a side of one of Jupiter’s moons that they’ve never seen before.  NASA says that new evidence shows that Jupiter’s moon Europa was probably once spinning on a titled axis.  And they say this explains one of the great mysteries of Europa—why its long, straight cracks have changed over time.  Tidal forces cause Europa’s surface to stretch and shrink in accordance with its proximity to Jupiter, resulting in the cracks we see.  But scientists have never understood why they crack in different directions.  New data from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that the moon may have once had a titled axis, which would have changed the orientation of the pole over time and created the seemingly random cracks.  Well, that put a crack in a couple other theories!


    If you’ve got the beat, then you might be a better reader.  A new study out of Northwestern University says that rhythm and reading go hand in hand.  In an experiment involving beat-keeping and looking at EEG recordings of brainwaves of a group of teens, the research team found that those who were more accurate at “keeping the beat” showed a better brain response to language.  They said this is because reading and beat keeping likely have a common foundation in the auditory system. Researchers also said that musical training could be a great exercise to improve reading skills since exercising the auditory system can lead to strong sound-to-meaning associations that are essential to learning to read. Rhythm is an integral part of both music and language. So keep music in schools! See everything in life comes together.   We've got the beat….


    What happens on one side of the world can have a major effect on the other side.  We know that all too well these days.  Even with dust it turns out.   New research looking at air quality in Houston showed that dust clouds from Africa’s Sahara Desert impact the air quality in Texas and other regions of the world.  They found that a major dust intrusion in the Sahara doubled the concentration of inhalable particles in Houston, by identifying native Texan dust particles from dust with an African “fingerprint.”  The African dust may be bad for asthma and allergies in Texas, but in the Caribbean Basin—where it also travels to—it can affect hurricane activity.  They say this effect is a very complex relationship and requires more research.  


    Give me some sugar… come on.. I know you got some… Sugar addiction is real.  And one health official from Amsterdam is just saying no.  The head of Amsterdam’s Public Health Service, Paul Van Der Velpen says sugar is an “addictive” drug, which needs to be regulated...funny coming from a country where weed is legal.  He likened sugar to alcohol and tobacco, and said that obesity is an expanding problem that will lead to rising healthcare costs.  What does he propose?  Labels on sugar that warn that it’s addictive and can be bad your health.  Because we always listen when someone tells us something is bad for us…


    And that’s your Daily Orbit.  Give me that candy bar.