A four-month-old panda cub made her first public appearance Saturday at the Malaysian zoo where she was born, to the delight of visitors. The fluffy little cub was the second born to Liang Liang, who has been on loan to Malaysia since 2014, aong with a male panda, a rare success story for natural reproduction among giant pandas which are notoriously clumsy at mating on the rare occasions they are actually in the mood. The family of three were in good health, said Mat Naim Ramli, director of the national zoo's panda centre outside Kuala Lumpur.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A gold exploration proposal near Yellowstone National Park faced a significant setback as a judge blamed Montana officials for understating the potential for mining to harm land, water and wildlife.
This week's pick is a flexible membrane laser that can attach to contact lenses. Superman's laser vision just moved a step closer to reality, said Neil Savage at IEEE Spectrum. Researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have developed an ultra-thin, laser-emitting membrane, made from an organic semiconducting polymer, that can be attached to contact lenses.
The human brain is disproportionately large. It is an oddity that has long flummoxed scientists: while most organisms thrive with small brains, or none at all, the human species opted to sacrifice a degree of body growth for more cerebral capacity. The human brain, they suggested, expanded mainly in response to environmental stresses that forced our species to come up with innovative solutions for food and shelter, and pass the lessons on to our offspring.
It's hard to tackle even the most basic odd jobs when your tools break and the nearest hardware store is 60 million miles away. NASA engineers spent the next year and a half figuring out a workaround that would let the rover keep doing its geology despite the busted part—and on Sunday, Curiosity successfully drilled its first new hole. Scientists decided it was worth the effort because the area, called Vera Rubin Ridge, seems to be made of clay-rich material.
On the White House lawn in June 2017, President Donald Trump announced that "we're getting out," referring to his plan to pull the U.S. out of the historic Paris climate agreement — a deal he considers bad for the American economy. But new research suggests that Trump is sorely mistaken. The climate agreement, which is intended to limit the severity of climate change, will likely be a substantial benefit to most of the world's economies, argue researchers in a study published Wednesday in the journal
Nature. Not placing limits on climate-warming carbon emissions, however, would be costly for nearly everyone. SEE ALSO: Air conditioner use will triple by 2050. That's bad news for a warming planet. The plan — which was even signed by North Korea — hopes to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, back in the 1800s when the atmosphere had substantially less carbon pollution. Until now, there's been an inadequate understanding of how nations might fare economically from collectively meeting these climate goals. To figure that out, researchers combed through both temperature and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data from 165 countries between 1960 and 2010, finding that 90 percent of the global population will likely benefit from meeting the ambitious Paris carbon target of limiting warming to 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). Higher than average temperatures, they found, can drain economic productivity. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning are now the highest they've been in hundreds of thousands of years.Image: nasa/Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record"As temperature's warm, output level falls," Marshall Burke, lead author of the study, said in call with reporters. It's particularly important that scientists get some sense of how economies will respond in a warming world, in part, because the Earth's climate is already changing. The planet may soon breach the 1-degree Celsius benchmark above pre-industrial levels, although some scientists think it already has. It's unknown exactly how climate change will affect each and every country in the coming decades, said Burke, but he emphasized that "the benefits of meeting the stringent targets vastly outweigh the costs." And it appears humanity has underestimated how large the magnitude of these costs — which include pummeling storms, declines in crop yields, and the spread of disease — truly is. "As we further grasp the consequences of disrupting the fundamental environment on which modern civilization depends, projections of these costs continue to climb," Sarah Green, an environmental chemist at Michigan Technical University who was not involved in the study, said over email. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that in 2017 the U.S. "experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters," with 16 separate
disasters. The world's three largest economies — the U.S., Japan, and China — are all expected to benefit from meeting the 1.5 Celsius carbon target, although the researchers found the poorest nations in the world, which are generally also the hottest, serve to benefit the most. Overall, this means avoiding the nearly unfathomable losses of income associated with a warming climate. For example, if the world were to warm to between 2.5 and 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the researchers project that global economic output would fall between 15 and 25 percent, which amounts to tens of trillions of dollars. Some of this loss is caused by the direct impact of heat on our bodies. The dead bodies of heatwave victims at the Edhi Foundation morgue in Karachi, Pakistan on May 22, 2018.Image: IMRAN ALI/AFP/Getty Images"Humans function really well when the temperature is mild," said Marshall. He notes that heat makes us less productive, affecting labor output, cognitive abilities, and the fact that "people are more violent went you crank up the temperature." Transforming massive, complicated economies to meet the 1.5 or 2 degree Celsius targets certainly won't be a simple, nor cheap, task. Tearing down fossil fuel burning-power plants while constructing renewable energy infrastructure has a massive price tag, perhaps costing nations a considerable chunk the all the money they bring in each year, known more formally as Gross Domestic product, or GDP. (U.S. GDP in 2017 was over $19 trillion.) If a country wanted to cut emissions in an extreme way, it would need to spend the equivalent of a few percentage points of GDP, David Victor, a professor of international relations at the University of California, San Diego who had no involvement in the study, said in an interview. "That’s a lot of money," said Victor. "That’s the amount of money you spend on a war." But, he notes, politicians nearly always emphasize the costs of energy transformation, often ignoring the economic benefits illustrated in this study. Simply put, it costs money to make money. And even if nations don't meet the 1.5 Celsius target, these benefits can still be momentous. "It's not an all or nothing game," Kate Larsen, the former White House Council on Environmental Quality Deputy Director for Energy and Climate Change under the Obama Administration, said in an interview. "There's a spectrum of impacts that go from pretty bad to only minor," she said. "There will still be impacts if we meet the Paris goals, but we would have avoided some of the most damaging consequences." But not meeting the Paris goals, either the more stringent 1.5 degree or 2 degree Celsius targets, will likely hit nations in the place they care about most: their wallets. "Temperature affects the fundamental building blocks of economies," said Marshall. WATCH: NASA is attempting to fly a helicopter on Mars for the first time
The 35-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh state did not realise she had been bitten when she woke and breastfed her daughter. The three-year-old girl and the mother fell ill on Thursday and both died before they could reach hospital, police inspector Vijay Singh told AFP. India is home to some 300 snake species and 60 are highly venomous, including the Indian cobra, krait, Russell's viper and saw-scaled viper.
A historic expedition is scheduled for next week when long-distance swimmer Ben Lecomte begins a roughly 5,500-mile swim across the Pacific Ocean. Lecomte will start in Japan Tuesday and swim to San Francisco. Lecomte and his crew are collaborating with 27 institutions including NASA and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
People around the world beset by drought, heatwaves, rising seas and storm surges made worse by global warming are calling for "climate justice," and many are pleading their case in court. Families from eight nations joined their ranks Thursday when they collectively sued the European Union over the impact of rising temperatures on their livelihoods. Taking into account accumulated emissions since 1850, that share rises to a quarter, second only to the United States (27 percent).
Britain is helping breed a new generation of “super-crops” not only resistant to climate change, pests and disease but also fortified with vital vitamins and minerals. The initiative could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die each year from poor nutrition in developing countries as well as supplementing diets in the west. The Department for International Development (Dfid) has quietly invested more than £100m into breeding the new generation of super-crops which now stand poised to create what experts are calling a “second green revolution”. The crops include iron-rich beans that can withstand a 4 degree Celsius jump in temperature, “scuba” rice that comes back to life after two weeks underwater in flooded fields and drought-tolerant maize rich in vitamin A. The first green revolution reached at least 1bn people and was a huge success. If we can reach our target of 1bn, then potentially it is the next biggest thingHowarth Bouis, a US economist Importantly, they have been created through traditional breeding techniques rather than being genetically modified which means they can be planted without waiting for regulatory approval. “The first green revolution reached at least one billion people and was a huge success. If we can reach our target of one billion, then potentially it is the next biggest thing,” said Howarth Bouis, a US economist whose organisation HarvestPlus has received £87.4m from Dfid to breed and distribute crop varieties fortified with Vitamin A, Iron and Zinc. About 30 million people – around six million households – have so far benefited from the new crops, primarily in Africa, but the aim is to reach one billion by 2030. A further six million farmers in Asia are using scuba rice but the aim is 18 million by 2028. Scientists believe that if they achieve the one billion target they will effectively halve the world’s estimated two billion suffering from what is known as “hidden hunger” or micronutrient malnutrition. The first green revolution, which occurred in the early to mid 1900s, won its instigator Norman Borlaug a Nobel Peace Prize and spawned disease-resistant, high-yielding wheat strains which are credited with saving 250 million lives worldwide. Agricultural breakthroughs trump medical innovations such as antibiotics and vaccinations for lives saved historically because food is so central to life. It is estimated one million children a year die from micronutrient malnutrition which leaves them prone to stunted growth, poor vision and illnesses and diseases that have the potential to become worldwide epidemics. Agronomist Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply Credit: Micheline Pelletier/Sygma via Getty Images The new super-crops not only replicate the traits of the first green revolution in having higher yields but also have been – or are being – cross-bred further to incorporate genes that protect from disease, pests, floods, drought and heat. “Our centres are developing climate adaptive crops. Farmers like them not only because they are climate tolerant but also high yielding. We just need to get them into mainstream markets and piggy back on them with our vitamin strains,” said Bouis. For the “heat-beater” beans, a staple in Rwanda where the fortified varieties provide up to half a person’s recommended daily intake of iron, scientists in Colombia trawled a gene bank of 36,000 samples to find a Mexican strain capable of withstanding temperature rises expected over the next century due to climate change. Biofortification | Super-crops heralding the next green revolution It will not only safeguard the 50 per cent of land that would have been lost to farmers due to higher temperatures but could also open up new markets in tropical areas for the beans. “Even if they can only handle a three-degree rise, that would still limit the land lost to climate change to about 5 per cent,” said Steve Beebe, head of bean breeding for the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. Scuba rice was created after scientists tracked down an Indian rice variety with a gene, SUB1A, which was activated when the plant was submerged. It was crossed with India’s top-selling, high-yielding Swarni rice to counter the annual loss of 4m tonnes of rice to flooding in India and Bangladesh, enough to feed 30m people. Dr Uma Shankar Singh, a director of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), said: “Sustaining productivity is the most important factor and we now have six million farmers cultivating 3 million hectares. At minimum it is adding 3 million tonnes of rice. We have also developed SUB1 varieties with salt, drought and stagnant flooding tolerance.” Biofortified beans in Rwanda Credit: HarvestPlus Dfid is now the biggest funder of HarvestPlus, whose work into fortified crops was started in 2003. Nottingham University professor Martin Broadley, a research fellow with Dfid, said the genesis of the programme came from research showing how expensive and inefficient it was to deliver supplements or fortified processed foods like bread to rural areas. “Upfront investment in breeding iron, vitamin A and zinc dense crops is the most cost-effective way to improve nutrition compared with other approaches,” he said. According to the World Health Organization, every $10-$15 invested in, for example, the vitamin A rich orange sweet potato produces one extra year of good quality life per individual. Upfront investment in breeding iron, vitamin A and zinc dense crops is the most cost-effective way to improve nutrition compared with other approachesProfessor Martin Broadley, Nottingham University HarvestPlus deliberately spurned genetic modification in favour of natural methods. “If we’d invested our money in GM, they could have been left sitting on the shelf. Conventional breeding is not as powerful a science but at least we can do a lot of good with it without the blockages you have with transgenics,” said Bouis. Government agriculture centres and NGOs are supporting the distribution of the seeds. As it seeks to reach 1 billion, Dfid has put in an extra £4 million to get private seed producers to take up the “super-crops” and achieve the necessary increase in uptake. The roll-out of the seeds has been supported by promotions including a radio soap opera, My Children, in Uganda to advance the orange sweet potato, a rap song by Rwandan musicians to encourage use of iron-rich beans and Yellow Cassava, a Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) film highlighting the nutritional benefits of the vitamin A rich crop. Women clear wet mud alongside the bank of the river in Satkhira, Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the continental countries most vulnerable to climate change. Credit: Zakir/Hossain Chowdhury/Barcroft At least 14 studies are being carried out to establish whether eating the fortified crops improve the health of the communities consuming them. The early results are encouraging. In Uganda, the orange sweet potato, taken up by 60 per cent of farms in the area studied, saw a significant increase in vitamin A uptake among families, a 9 per cent fall in those with low vitamin A and a drop of up to 19 per cent in diarrhoea among children. Children eating orange maize in Zambia saw improvements in their sight through increased vitamin A. Women given fortified beans in Rwanda reversed their iron deficiency, reducing anaemia. College students in Rwanda aged 17 to 25 who ate the beans scored significantly better in cognitive tests of memory and speed after just 18 weeks. Studies into whether eating fortified crops improves the health of the communities have yielded promising results Credit: HOWARD BURDITT /Reuters A Dfid spokesman said: “Biofortification is highly cost-effective as it provides a single intervention which benefits both this generation and future generations to come. By providing farmers with seeds and planting material, they and their households can grow, sell and consume foods that are already vitamin-rich, with no need for additional supplements. “The crops remain high yielding and vitamin rich for future harvests. This compares with supplements which need to be repeated, or fortification which needs to be continuously added to food products.” More controversially, Dfid is backing one of a potential new generation of GM crops now closing in on market readiness. It is funding work on modifying plants’ photosynthetic efficiency so their water use is cut by 25 per cent by changing the expression of a single gene. Micronutrient malnutrition | The global scale A potential breakthrough has also emerged in Mozambique’s field trials of more water-efficient GM maize (WEMA). Early results suggest it is not only resistant to drought but also the devastating stem borer and fall army worm pests. Ohio State University scientists are working to create a GM “golden potato”, which would provide 42 per cent of a child’s daily vitamin A. By providing farmers with seeds and planting material, they and their households can grow, sell and consume foods that are vitamin-rich Credit: Bloomberg Uganda is trialling a “golden banana” high in vitamin A created by Australia’s Queensland University of Technology by inserting a gene from a Papua New Guinea banana into the commercially-successful Cavendish banana. It is named after William Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire, a passionate horticulturalist who developed it on his Derbyshire estate in the 19th century. Public and political scepticism, however, remains a major hurdle for GM. The salutary lesson on this is “golden rice”, a GM strain engineered to boost vitamin A. More than a decade after it was hailed as a potential game-changer, its progress to farmers’ fields has stalled in a blizzard of regulation and public opposition. If the next green revolution is to come, harnessing nature rather than genetically modifying it may prove to be quickest and most efficient route. In-depth | Global Health Security Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security
The beginning of next week will see the next full moon, known as the Flower Moon, brighten our skies the day after the second bank holiday weekend of the month. The first blue moon of the year was a spectacular sight, dubbed the 'super blue blood moon'. Falling on January 31, it was the product of three different phenomena: it was a supermoon, a blue moon and a blood moon. While many said it was the first to be seen in 152 years, other contested the fact, leading to a division among scientists. Stargazers were also treated to two full moons in March: as well as the first full moon on the night of March 1, we saw another full moon on March 31. As it was the second full moon of the month, it was a blue moon – the second of 2018. The moon is the largest and brightest object in our night sky and has enchanted and inspired mankind for centuries. Blue moons are a rare breed, but full moons can be admired every month. Here is everything you need to know about Earth's only natural satellite, from all its different names to how it was formed. Super blue blood moon, in pictures How often does a full moon occur? Afull moon occurs every 29.5 days and is when the Moon is completely illuminated by the Sun's rays. It occurs when Earth is directly aligned between the Sun and the Moon. Why do full moons have names? The early Native Americans didn't record time using months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Instead tribes gave each full moon a nickname to keep track of the seasons and lunar months. Most of the names relate to an activity or an event that took place at the time in each location. However, it wasn't a uniform system and tribes tended to name and count moons differently. Some, for example, counted four seasons a year while others counted five. Others defined a year as 12 moons, while others said there were 13. Colonial Americans adopted some of the moon names and applied them to their own calendar system which is why they're still in existence today, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. January: Wolf Moon This moon was named because villagers used to hear packs of wolves howling in hunger around this time of the year. Its other name is the Old Moon. This January there are two Wolf Moons - and stargazers will be in for a treat as both will be supermoons. When two moons occur in one month, the second is called a blue moon. While blue moons typically occur only once every two to three years, this year we will be treated to two moons - the second appearing at the end of March. The night following the first full moon of the month saw the Quadrantid meteor shower light up the skies. When? January 2 and January 31 February: Snow Moon Snow moon is named after the white stuff because historically it's always been the snowiest month in America. It's also traditionally referred to as the Hunger Moon, because hunting was very difficult in snowy conditions. However this year there won't be a Snow Moon - with a full moon occurring at the end of January and another at the beginning of March, we won't see one light up the skies during the year's shortest month. When? There will be no full moon this month The full Snow Moon appears red above London's Albert bridge and Battersea Bridge in 2012 Credit: Anthony Devlin March: Worm Moon As temperatures warm, earthworm casts begin to appear and birds begin finding food. It's also known as Sap Moon, Crow Moon and Lenten Moon. There will be two moons this March, one at the start of the month and one at the end. As in January, the second moon of the month is called a blue moon. The second moon of the month is important because it is used to fix the date of Easter, which is always the Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. This year, that moon appears on Saturday March 31, which means Easter Sunday falls the day after, on April 1. When? March 1 and 31 April: Pink Moon April's full moon is known as the Pink Moon, but don't be fooled into thinking it will turn pink. It's actually named after pink wildflowers, which appear in the US and Canada in early spring. This moon is also known as Egg Moon, due to spring egg-laying season. Some coastal tribes referred to it as Fish Moon because it appeared at the same time as the shad swimming upstream. When? April 30 A couple watch the Pink Moon rise beside Hartshead Pike on April 29, 2018 in Manchester, England Credit: Anthony Devlin May: Flower Moon Spring has officially sprung by the time May arrives, and flowers and colourful blooms dot the landscape. This moon is also known as Corn Planting Moon, as crops are sown in time for harvest, or Bright Moon because this full moon is known to be one of the brightest. Some people refer to it as Milk Moon. When? May 29 (it will peak at 15:19) Night sky June: Strawberry Moon This moon is named after the beginning of the strawberry picking season. It's other names are Rose Moon, Hot Moon, or Hay Moon as hay is typically harvested around now. This moon appears in the same month as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year (June 21) in which we can enjoy approximately 17 hours of daylight. When? June 28 The so-called 'Strawberry Moon' rises behind Glastonbury Tor on in June 2016. Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images July: Thunder Moon Named due to the prevalence of summer thunder storms. It's sometimes referred to as the Full Buck Moon because at this time of the year a buck's antlers are fully grown. When? July 27 August: Sturgeon Moon Tribes in North America typically caught Sturgeon during this month, but also it is when grain and corn were gathered so is also referred to as Grain Moon. This moon appears in the same month as the Perseid meteor shower. When? August 26 September: Harvest Moon The Harvest Moon is the name given to the first full moon that takes place closest to the Autumn equinox, which this year will come on September 23. The Harvest Moon arrived late last year, on October 5 - it normally rises in September. It was during September that most of the crops were harvested ahead of the autumn and this moon would give light to farmers so they could carry on working longer in the evening. Some tribes also called it the Barley Moon, the Full Corn Moon or Fruit Moon. When? September 25 October: Hunter's Moon As people planned ahead for the cold months ahead, the October moon came to signify the ideal time for hunting game, which were becoming fatter from eating falling grains. This moon is also known as the travel moon and the dying grass moon. When? October 24 November: Frost Moon The first of the winter frosts historically begin to take their toll around now and winter begins to bite, leading to this month's moon moniker. It is also known as the Beaver Moon. When?November 23 December: Cold Moon Nights are long and dark and winter's grip tightens, hence this Moon's name. With Christmas just a few weeks away, it's also referred to as Moon before Yule and Long Nights Moon. When? December 22 Clouds clear to allow a view of the final full moon of the year, a so-called 'Cold Moon' on December 13 2016 in Cornwall. Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images Once in a blue moon Does this well-known phrase have anything to do with the moon? Well, yes it does. We use it to refer to something happening very rarely and a blue moon is a rare occurrence. It's the name given to a second full moon that occurs in a single calendar month and this typically occurs only once every two to three years. There's lots of other moons, too: Full moon: We all know what these are. They come around every month and light up the night at night. Harvest moon: The full moon closest to the autumn equinox. Black moon: Most experts agree that this refers to the second new moon in a calendar month. The last black moon was at the start of October 2016 and the next one is expected in 2019. Blue moon: A phenomenon that occurs when there is a second full moon in one calendar month. Joe Rao from space.com explains: "A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. A black moon is supposedly the flip side of a blue moon; the second new moon in a single calendar month." Supermoon is seen behind the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, in May 2012. Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano The infrequent nature of this lunar event led to the phrase "once in a blue moon" to signify a rare occurrence. It does not actually mean the moon will be blue. Blood moon: Also known as a supermoon lunar eclipse. It's when the shadow of Earth casts a reddish glow on the moon, the result of a rare combination of an eclipse with the closest full moon of the year. There was one in the UK in September 2015, and before that in 1982 but the next one won't be until 2033. Strawberry moon: A rare event when there's a full moon on the same day as the summer solstice. It happened in June 2016 for the first time since 1967 when 17 hours of sunlight gave way to a bright moonlit sky. Despite the name, the moon does appear pink or red. The romantic label was coined by the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June’s full moon signalled the beginning of the strawberry picking season. What is a supermoon? Ever looked up at the night sky to see a full moon so close you could almost touch it? Well you've probably spotted a supermoon. The impressive sight happens when a full moon is at the point in its orbit that brings it closest to Earth. To us Earth-lings, it appears 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger to the naked eye. How a supermoon is generated Supermoon is not an astrological term though. It's scientific name is actually Perigee Full Moon, but supermoon is more catchy and is used by the media to describe our celestial neighbour when it gets up close. Astrologer Richard Nolle first came up with the term supermoon and he defined it as "… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit", according to earthsky.org. How many supermoons are there in 2018? There are two full moon supermoons this year, both of which took place in the first month of the year. The first appeared on January 2 and the second appeared on January 31. As it was the second moon of the month, the latter moon was also known as a blue moon. There will also be two new moon supermoons in 2018: one on July 13 and another on August 11. Unfortunately, stargazers were unable to see these moons as new moons are generally obscured by the light of the sun. Last year we were lucky enough to have four supermoons. The first three - April 26, May 25, June 24 - were new moons. The fourth supermoon of 2017 appeared on December 3 and was a full moon supermoon. This will be a full moon supermoon. In fact, it's the first of three full moon supermoons in a row. Supermoon rises over Auckland, New Zealand in August 2014. Credit: Simon Runting/REX What do I look for? Head outside at sunset when the moon is closest to the horizon and marvel at its size. As well as being closer and brighter, the moon (clouds permitting) should also look orange and red in colour. Why? Well, as moonlight passes through the thicker section of the atmosphere, light particles at the red end of the spectrum don't scatter as easily as light at the blue end of the spectrum. So when the moon looks red, you're just looking at red light that wasn't scattered. As the moon gets higher in the sky, it returns to its normal white/yellow colour. Will the tides be larger? Yes. When full or new moons are especially close to Earth, it leads to higher tides. Tides are governed by the gravitational pull of the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun. Because the sun and moon go through different alignments, this affects the size of the tides. Tell me more about the moon The moon is 4.6 billion years old and was formed between 30-50 million years after the solar system. It is smaller than Earth - about the same size as Pluto in fact. Its surface area is less than the surface area of Asia - about 14.6 million square miles according to space.com Gravity on the moon is only 1/6 of that found on Earth. The moon is not round, but is egg-shaped with the large end pointed towards Earth. It would take 135 days to drive by car to the moon at 70 mph (or nine years to walk). The moon has "moonquakes" caused by the gravitational pull of Earth. Experts believe the moon has a molten core, just like Earth. How was the Moon formed? How the Moon was formed Man on the Moon Only 12 people have ever walked on the moon and they were all American men, including (most famously) Neil Armstrong who was the first in 1969 on the Apollo II mission. The last time mankind sent someone to the moon was in 1972 when Gene Cernan visited on the Apollo 17 mission. Although Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin was the first man to urinate there. While millions watched the moon landing on live television, Aldrin was forced to go in a tube fitted inside his space suit. Buzz Aldrin Jr. beside the U.S. flag after man reaches the Moon for the first time during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Credit: AP When the astronauts took off their helmets after their moonwalk, they noticed a strong smell, which Armstrong described as “wet ashes in a fireplace” and Aldrin as “spent gunpowder”. It was the smell of moon-dust brought in on their boots. The mineral, armalcolite, discovered during the first moon landing and later found at various locations on Earth, was named after the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil ARMstrong, Buzz ALdrin and Michael COLlins. An estimated 600 million people watched the Apollo 11 landing live on television, a world record until 750 million people watched the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. One of President Nixon’s speechwriters had prepared an address entitled: “In Event of Moon Disaster”. It began: “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay to rest in peace.” If the launch from the Moon had failed, Houston was to close down communications and leave Armstrong and Aldrin to their death. How the Daily Telegraph reported Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon in 1969
Equipped with a "very strong" magnet and magnifying glass, retired physical education teacher Mohamed Bouzgarine says that discoveries "can be more valuable than gold". "Rocks coming from Mars are very expensive, sometimes as much as 10,000 dirhams (around $1,000, 900 euros) per gram," he says. Bouzgarine stops in front of a hollow, hoping it could be a crater formed "very long ago" by extraterrestrial matter.