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Topics: Lunar Eclipse

Sunday, 4 March 2007

image for Scientists Cast Hand Shadows On Moon During Lunar Eclipse

Mount Palomar - Scientists stuck their hands in the air and cast the shadows of their hands on the lunar surface during last night's lunar eclipse. Easily visible on the surface of the moon were rabbit figures, a duck's head, a peace sign, Dolly Parton's breasts, and obscene hand gestures. This was all made possible by the fact that shadows expand as they travel through space.

No optical aid was required to view the shadowy figures on the moon. Extended objects such as comets, meteors, and the moon do not require optical aid for casual observation and in fact telescopes hinder such observation by focusing in on small areas. If optical devices are used they should be limited to wide angle lenses.

Scientists are now eager to try to cast these types of shadows on the sun during a solar eclipse but it is recommended that those without the proper training and scientific instruments do not try to make direct observations of the sun in order to avoid blindness and other kinds of eye damage.

Astronomers are urging members of the general public not to join in on these activities for fear that the shadows cast by inexperienced Bozo types might interfere with laser and other optical equipment and experiments left on the lunar surface decades ago by Apollo astronauts.

North Carolina astronomer Jimmy Joe Jim Bob Sagan said these types of activities are better left up to the big boys so they can "get her done right" .

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