A new rover concept based on a tiny sphere with two degrees of freedom has just entered the Team FREDNET lunar rover design competition. Whether this rover will be able to fulfill the mission requirements is unknown at the moment, nevertheless, I see this concept as very appealing for scouting planets with harsh environment. The rover is called Picorover and you can participate in the discussion in the Team FREDNET forum.
I am working on a setup where I want to mount a cheap webcam onto my Meade ETX-90 telescope for terrestrial observations. While I was working on the setup the other night I looked out the window and saw the Moon behind a tree. Without thinking too much I pointed the telescope towards the Moon and recorded this video.
As for the bad quality keep in mind that:
- it was recorded through a double-glas window (which was dirty)
- the Moon was behind a tree
- it was recorded with a webcam
Do you even wonder how the sky might look like from the surface of the Moon? I certainly did so recently and here is what I learned…
We had some discussions on the Team FREDNET public forum about using the stars and the planets for guidance and navigation on lunar surface. Of course, it raised the question of how the sky looks like on the Moon? To find out, I took a virtual trip to the Apollo 11, 15 and Surveyor 7 landing sites using the free open source Stellarium software for linux.
Stellarium is a complete planetarium software for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It even allows you to look at the sky from surface of other planets and moons.
Other free software used in producing this video was the Gimp for image manipulations and Kdenlive for non-linear video editing.
PS: I have hidden a small error in the first 20 seconds of the video, and I am not thinking about the lulnar landscape. Can you find it?