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Evolution of the Web

Posted: December 10, 2016 at 1:57 pm

The web today is a growing universe of interlinked web pages and web apps, teeming with videos, photos, and interactive content. What the average user doesn’t see is the interplay of web technologies and browsers that makes all this possible.

Over time web technologies have evolved to give web developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive web experiences. Today’s web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open web community that helps define these web technologies, like HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL and ensure that they’re supported in all web browsers.

The color bands in this visualization represent the interaction between web technologies and browsers, which brings to life the many powerful web apps that we use daily.

Made with some friends from the Google Chrome team

2011 & 2012 versions by Hyperakt and Vizzuality

2010 version by mgmt design and GOOD

Wikipedia, CanIUse.com, W3C, HTML5rocks.com and Mozilla Developer Network

Browser screenshots used in this infographic were sourced with best efforts from the web community.

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Evolution of the Web

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Tile Map Service – Wikipedia

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Tile Map Service or TMS, is a specification for tiled web maps, developed by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. The definition generally requires a URI structure which attempts to fulfill REST principles. The TMS protocol fills a gap between the very simple standard used by OpenStreetMap and the complexity of the Web Map Service standard, providing simple urls to tiles while also supporting alternate spatial referencing system.

TMS is most widely supported by web mapping clients and servers; although there is some desktop support, the Web Map Service protocol is more widespread for enterprise mapping applications. The OpenLayers JavaScript library supports TMS natively, while the Google Maps API allows URL templating, which makes support possible for developers. TileCache is one of the most popular supporting servers, while other servers like mod_tile and TileLite focus on the de facto OpenStreetMap standard.

TMS served as the basis for the OpenGIS Web Map Tile Service OGC standard. [1]

Free software server implementation of the TMS specification:

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FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers Under …

Posted: at 12:24 pm

The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that has privacy advocates and some lawmakers trying to mobilize opposition.

Trumps first two choices to head law enforcement and intelligence agencies — Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency — are leading advocates for domestic government spying at levels not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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An already over-powerful surveillance state is about to be let loose on the American people, said Daniel Schuman, policy director for Demand Progress, an internet and privacy advocacy organization.

In a reversal of curbs imposed after Edward Snowdens revelations in 2013 about mass data-gathering by the NSA, Trump and Congress may move to reinstate the collection of bulk telephone records, renew powers to collect the content of e-mails and other internet activity, ease restrictions on hacking into computers and let the FBI keep preliminary investigations open longer.

Read more: Apple, the FBI and encryption — a QuickTake

A first challenge for privacy advocates comes this week: A new rule is set to go into effect on Dec. 1 letting the FBI get permission from a judge in a single jurisdiction to hack into multiple computers whose locations arent known.

Under the proposed rules, the government would now be able to obtain a single warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once; and the vast majority of the affected computers would belong to the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cybercrime, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who serves on the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

Wyden is one of seven senators, including libertarian Republican Rand Paul, who have introduced a bill, S. 3475, to delay the new policy until July to give Congress time to debate its merits and consider amendments.

Sessions, Pompeo and officials with national security and law enforcement agencies have argued that expanded surveillance powers are needed, especially because of the threat of small, deadly terrorist plots that are hard to detect, like the killing of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June and 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last year.

The FBI had at one point opened a preliminary investigation into the Orlando killer, Omar Mateen, but didnt have the authority to keep it going for lack of evidence of wrongdoing.

Whats needed is a fundamental upgrade to Americas surveillance capabilities, Pompeo and a co-author wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary in January. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.

Pompeo and Sessions want to repeal a 2015 law that prohibits the FBI and NSA from collecting bulk phone records — metadata such as numbers called and dates and times — on Americans who arent suspected of wrongdoing.

“Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database,” Pompeo wrote.

Press aides for Sessions and Pompeo declined to comment.

Sessions has opposed restraints on NSA surveillance and said in June that he supported legislation to expand the types of internet data the FBI can intercept without warrants.

Congress is also expected to consider legislation early next year that would renew the governments ability to collect the content of e-mail and other internet activity from companies such as Google and Facebook Inc.

Under the Prism program, investigators pursuing suspected terrorists can intercept the content of electronic communications believed to come from outside the U.S. without specific warrants even if one end of the communications is inside the country or involves an American.

Prism came under criticism when it was exposed by Snowden, the former NSA contractor who stole hundreds of thousands of documents on agency surveillance programs. Section 702 of the USA Patriot Act, under which Prism and other spy programs are conducted, is set to expire at the end of 2017 if it isnt reauthorized by Congress.

James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has said he also wants to renew a debate early next year about whether Apple and other companies can resist court warrants seeking to unlock encrypted communications. The agency went to court trying to force Apple to create new software to crack password protection on a phone used by the shooter in San Bernardino.

Boycott Apple until they give up the information, Trump said at a rally in South Carolina in February. He said Tim Cook, Apples chief executive officer, is looking to do a big number, probably to show how liberal he is. Apple should give up.

While the FBI dropped that case against Apple after buying a tool to hack into the phone, the increasing use of encryption on mobile devices and messaging services remains a challenge to national security and law enforcement agencies.

Republicans led by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina are expected to re-introduce legislation requiring companies to give investigators access to encrypted communications.

The FBI is also seeking legislation that would allow it to obtain non-content electronic communication transactional records, such as browsing histories and computer Internet Protocol addresses, without court oversight or a warrant.

Sessions and Burr supported the legislation earlier this year, while it was opposed by major technology groups as well as Google and Facebook.

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Transhumanism The History of a Dangerous Idea

Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:47 am

Transhumanism is a recent movement that extols mans right to shape his own evolution, by maximizing the use of scientific technologies, to enhance human physical and intellectual potential. While the name is new, the idea has long been a popular theme of science fiction, featured in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, the Terminator series, and more recently, The Matrix, Limitless, Her and Transcendence.

However, as its adherents hint at in their own publications, transhumanism is an occult project, rooted in Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and derived from the Kabbalah, which asserts that humanity is evolving intellectually, towards a point in time when man will become God. Modeled on the medieval legend of the Golem and Frankenstein, they believe man will be able to create life itself, in the form of living machines, or artificial intelligence.

Spearheaded by the Cybernetics Group, the project resulted in both the development of the modern computer and MK-Ultra, the CIAs mind-control program. MK-Ultra promoted the mind-expanding potential of psychedelic drugs, to shape the counterculture of the 1960s, based on the notion that the shamans of ancient times used psychoactive substances, equated with the apple of the Tree of Knowledge.

And, as revealed in the movie Lucy, through the use of smart drugs, and what transhumanists call mind uploading, man will be able to merge with the Internet, which is envisioned as the end-point of Kabbalistic evolution, the formation of a collective consciousness, or Global Brain. That awaited moment is what Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google, refers to as The Singularly. By accumulating the total of human knowledge, and providing access to every aspect of human activity, the Internet will supposedly achieve omniscience, becoming the God of occultism, or the Masonic All-Seeing Eye of the reverse side of the American dollar bill.

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Immortality: When (soon) and How That’s Really Possible

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Last Updated:20 April 2016 Author: Glyn Taylor

Indefinite life extension will be possiblewithin 30 years! Quite awow, really? prediction! This page is updated regularlywith the latest outlook towards our potentially immortal future.Please comment with your thoughts and any new information you would like adding. Like us on Facebook to keep updated, coz that would be awesome!

Want to live forever? Vote in our poll.

Twenty Years ago the idea of postponing aging, let alone reversing it, was weird and off-the-wall. Today there are good reasons for thinking it is fundamentally possible. Michael R. Rose

Within 30 Years? We instinctively fail to see technological growth as being exponential. If you do not understand the concept of exponential growth, then chances are you do not think immortality will ever be possible, let alone understand that it could be achieved within 30 years. To find out more, read our explanation of exponential growth.

The ExpertsWho Agree Dont take our word for it bring in the experts! Expert #1: Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, theGoogle co-founderssupport the theories of expert #2: Ray Kurzweil, who is the most popularised living futurist,as well as one of the leaders in the artificial intelligence industry, and chief of engineering at Google. He asserts that immortality could be achieved in as little as 20 years.

Moving from the technological realm to the world of bioengineering, we have expert #3: Aubrey de Gray, who is chief science officer at one of the most famous anti-ageing research foundations, the SRF. Aubrey de Grey, who was born in1963, believes that there is a 50/50 chance he will be alive when humanity reaches immortality. He is one of the leading faces in the fight against ageing, and is often invited to present his anti-aging theories for universities, TED Talks, think tanks, and news outlets.

Another face in the fight against ageing is expert #4: Jason Silva, who is a performance philosopher. To understand the brilliance of how he thinks, you must see his performances at his current YouTube channel, Shots of Awe. He supportsthe theories of both Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey, and describes immortality as the goal of humanity.

The Researchers

Since 2010, progression in the life extension industry has relatively sky-rocketed, more so in Russia than anywhere else. We have seen the formation of many high profile research companies, departments, foundations, institutes, and initiatives, with the specific aim of radically extending life.

Ageing is a multi-causal complex genetically determined biological process, and so to research how to combat it, you need the merger of many related disciplines.View hereto see just how complicated it is to even just track the bio-marker of ageing. The following example are only of groups that have the specific aim of life extension. Those specialising in sub-disciplines (but contributing to anti-ageing) are not listed.

The SRF aims to help build the industry that will cure the diseases of ageing.With this aim, they supply funding for the universities that are contributing to anti-ageing research. In addition to this, they run their own research centre, which brings together the knowledge of all anti-ageing sub-disciplines to gain an overseeing perspective. It is headed by the infamous, Aubrey de Grey. Here is theSENS FoundationAnnual Report 2015.

In 2013 Google helped launch Calico, an independent research and development biotech company, with the aim of combating ageing.Its CEO, Arthur Levinson is the Chairman of AppleandGenetech. In 2015 it announced its working withAncestryDNA, whocan provide access to a unique combination of resources that will enable Calico to develop potentially ground breaking therapeutic solutions. It is also working with a biopharmaceutical company calledAbbVie,whowill provide scientific and clinical development support and its commercial expertise toallow therapies to enter experimental phases.

This one makes a lot of headlines. It is taking a different approach; they aim to create technologies that will enable the transfer of an individuals consciousness to a more advanced non-biological immortal carrier. Below is their forecast for how they plan to advance.

Even More Researchers

The Buck InstituteMethuselah FoundationLongevity AllianceGeroWake ForestHuman Longevity, Inc.

What is Immortality?

Some think of it as the complete immunity from deaththe ability to get shot 200 times and then spit the bullets out. Maybe that will be possible one day, but it wont be our first version of immorality. The immortality we mean here is the ability to remain a healthy age, indefinitely. Ideally this age will be 21, with our bodies being fully formed, before their decline.

MindUploading is NOT Immortality

The 2045 Initiative are aiming to achieve immortality by uploading our brain dataout of our mortal biological minds and into an artificial one. Even if they manage to create a storage unit capable of working exactly like our own mind, all theyare doing is copy and pasting The copied version might be youin the moment of creation, but not from the next moment onwards. After seeing this copy and talking to it, would you then allow yourself to be turned off and replaced by it;to be killed? Well nah, I wouldnt. That isnt immortality, its reproduction.

Immortality is the indefinite maintenance of our biological minds.

Why Live Forever?

When you read an immortality related article on a mainstreamnews website, half of the people in the comments section seem to hate the idea. Usually the negativity towards immortality is displayed by those who dont understand what possibilities are waiting for us in the future; theythink of an immortal life asboring. I wrote an article calledWhy you will want to be immortal, to argue against that point of view. Another big reason that people do not want to live forever is because they believe that they will miss their lost loved ones too much. In response to that, I wrote, How everyone who has ever died, could be revived in the future.

Mortality is primitive, it is just a problem for humanity to overcome. Immortality is a natural development inthe evolutionary process of life.

How we will Live Forever

Ray Kurzweil has every intention to reach immortality. To do so, he has devised a personal plan to get there which involves 3 bridges. His plan is of course dependent on science achieving our immortality in around 20-30 years. The current priority is surviving for at least 20 years.

Bridge 1 Be Healthy

The first bridge is all about doing everything possible to extend your life with our current knowledge of ageing.The scientifically uncontroversial methods include: following a low-calorie (below 1500 calories), low-carb (below 80 grams) diet, and getting plenty of exercise and lots of sleep. Other methods raise eyebrows, such as drinking 10 glasses of highly alkaline water a day to rid the body of toxins, and having weekly intravenous infusions of vitamins, chelating agents and various other pharmaceuticals. Many other methods exist to rid the body of toxins, which can be found through a Google search. Wehave a guide onhow to get enough antioxidants to extend life.

Bridge 2 Biotechnology

The next bridge takes advantage of the accelerating biotechnology revolution. This will begin to take us beyond simply staying healthy, and into the realm of enhancements. Eventually biotechnology will cure aging, and even allow us to turn back our body clocks, on the journey there though discoveries will be made which will enhance our health, and extend our lifespans. We will see the increasing use of gene therapy, stem cells, therapeutic cloning, and replacement cells, tissues and organs.

Bridge 3 Nanotechnology & Artificial Intelligence

These technologies will completely revolutionise everything we know, how we live, why we live, and yes how long we live. For more information about the future that these technologies will create, read our explanation of the technological singularity.

Nano-sized robotic devices, miniature even compared to the size of a single blood cell, will become commonplace during the 2020s. It is predicted that these devices will progress to be used within the body to maintain perfect health and youth. The devices are already being used for diagnosis purposes. They will provide constant monitoring and notify you if you begin to develop any health problems. For example, they will detect cancer at its very first sign of growth, notify you and latch on to the cancerous cells, tagging them for immediate removal. In the next few decades they will not only diagnose, but also treat illnesses. For more information, read our guide to the nanotechnology revolution.

And we havent even mentioned Artificial Intelligence yet. Eventually through developments in nanotechnology, neural science, artificial brain building, and artificial intelligence, enough understanding will exist to enable our minds to be integrated into other storage mediums; we will have the ability to upload our minds (with the aid of nanotechnology); this is also referred to as digital immortality. Alternatively, we could still operate from our original brains, but outsource its cognition. For example, we could control a robot instead of our own body, or we could plug in to a virtual environment. Our intelligence levels would be significantly increased, we would communicate telepathically, and we would access the internet with our thoughts. The changes that such technology will have on humanity is incomprehensible. For more information about this future, check out ourinformation page about transhumanism.

Video Break! Below you can watch Ray Kurzweil explain more about bridge 3.

What aboutExistential Risk andOverpopulation?

So yeah, immortality would be great. But whos to say we will even get there without destroying each other first? The upcoming security risks related to emerging technologies are immense. We have written an article about the 5 emerging technologies that could destroy the world.

And if we do survive to reach immortality, then what about overpopulation? We will have problems to face with regard to overpopulation and the need for resources. These problems though can be overcome with new technologies, and it will not interrupt humanities transfer to immortality. We have written a detailed article, explaining why immortality wont cause overpopulation.

Security can Prevail

Lets end on a positive. Along with advanced weaponry comes advanced defence. For example, withmolecular manufacturingand early forms of non-conscious AI, a system of surveillance could be established to defend against the creation of illegal weaponry. This system would not be encroaching of privacies because humans will only be notified of your actions, should those actions be flagged by the system as suspicious. The only time your privacy will be invaded in an optimistic (non-dictatorship) future is when you are acting illegally.

Along with the advances may come a rising willingness to globally cooperate in order to progress with mutually beneficial aims such as self-sufficiency, immortality and space exploration; the threat of mutual destruction could become so great that nations will have no option but to come together and collaborate to tackle security problems together. On the subject of religious fundamentalism, with innovations such as immortality and the creation of god-like artificial intelligence, perhaps religions will become more open minded about the potential for science to explain the truth of our creation, acting to dilute religion and increase multiculturalization, secularisation and cooperation.

Have more to add?

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What do you think?

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Rise of the Posthuman Technocracy : Waking Times

Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:11 am

Nathaniel Mauka, Staff Writer Waking Times

When Seth Lloyd, a professor of Quantum-Mechanical Engineering at MIT first suggested that the Universe was a giant, quantum computer, the notion garnered a few peoples attention. Lloyd believes that everything in the Universe is made up of chunks of information called bits, disputable as a seeming extension of the materialistic view of the world where stuff is all there is, with no ability for a sentient being to escape the Matrix. Those green, streaming numbers in the opening scene of the film, in fact, would account for everything if it were up to Lloyd, but he is not alone in assuming that we live in a Universe with such a limited description.

There are purportedly a number of billionaires in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who are using Lloyds popularized view as a jumping board to develop technologies which would free us from a bit-made actuality otherwise known as the computer simulation we collectively call the Matrix. Lloyd thinks that even atoms are made of bits. If this were the case, then a simple reprogramming of the 1s and 0s ought to give us an innumerable number of options, but even a quantum computer has limitations.

Mathematician, Peter Shor was able to show that a quantum computer can solve some of the most impossible problems in nanoseconds, but just like Artificial Intelligence, you cant fake real experience and sentient reality. More importantly, what are the implications of giving the machines power over our lives, even if some of them have made redundant activities less bothersome?

Ray Kurzweil once wrote that the exponential growth of AI will lead to a technological singularity, a point when machine intelligence will overpower human intelligence. Lloyd argues that a great quantum computer has already taken over. Stephen Hawking has also warned that Artificial Intelligence could take over humanity so if we were to juxtapose these scenarios over one another, even you and I are just bits, certain to experience an impending doom.

Other large corporations just took over the Internet, the last bastion of fairinformation sharing on the planet. Do Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others in this technocracy threaten not just the democratic governance of technology, but the absolute sovereignty of ourselves?

Transhumanists have already popularized the notion of cyborgs and super human powers augmented with hardware machinery and software computer parts. The game is half played.

Katherine Hayles wrote in her 1999 publication How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics,

In the posthuman, there are no essential differences, or absolute demarcations, between bodily existence and computer simulation, cybernetic mechanism and biological organism, robot technology and human goals. Humans can either go gently into that good night, joining the dinosaurs as a species that once ruled the earth but is now obsolete, or hang on for a while longer by becoming machines themselves. In either casethe age of the human is drawing to a close.

In a technocracy, power is given only to those who can make decisions based on technological knowledge. The system of governance which holds technology as God cannot fathom the subtleties of human emotion, nor express compassion, morality, or achieve spiritual ascension.

As William Henry has put it, Are you ready to cede your body to the global body and to Transhumanist technology under [the] Transnationalistss control? Really this is a world a Universe no different than the one imagined by the cabal for thousands of years. An elite few create a One World Government, only in this case it expands into solar systems and planets we have yet imagined visiting. The United Nationshas even called this Universal Plan a way to extend peace, but we should not be fooled.

If you dont agree with the technocratic agenda, fear not that youll be on the other end of a gun. Youll be micro-chipped instead. Or, youll pick out your implantable device, or your retina lenscreated by Google. In one of the most secretive start-ups ever, Magic Leap, has raised more than billion dollars to create an implantable contact lens that injects computer-generated images or floats virtual objects into your very real world view. DARPA has already developed numerous technologies to infiltrate your brain, and even to take control over your peripheral nervous system. You wont have personal relations with other human beings. Your avatar will do it for you.

Humanity is undergoing a metamorphosis, but there are two directions we could take. Lloyds version is only one. Another involves ascending spiritually, instead of relying on technology and artificial intelligence in order to outsmart mortality. WhileGoogle and Big Pharma, along with the Department of Defense promise an extra 500 years to some among us, those who have obtained true enlightenment, as suggested by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, can experience something much greater than a little bit of extended time in a skin suit.

Nathaniel Mauka is a researcher of the dark side of government and exopolitics, and a staff writer forWaking Times.

This article (Rise of the Posthuman Technocracy) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution toNathaniel Maukaand WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.

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Zeitgeist (film series) – Wikipedia

Posted: November 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Zeitgeist: The Movie Directed by Peter Joseph Produced by Peter Joseph Written by Peter Joseph Music by Peter Joseph Edited by Peter Joseph Distributed by GMP LLC

Release dates

Running time

Zeitgeist: The Movie is a 2007 film by Peter Joseph presenting a number of conspiracy theories.[3] The film assembles archival footage, animations and narration.[4] Released online on June 18, 2007, it soon received tens of millions of views on Google Video, YouTube, and Vimeo.[5] According to Peter Joseph, the original Zeitgeist was not presented in a film format, but was a “performance piece consisting of a vaudevillian, multimedia style event using recorded music, live instruments, and video”.[5]

The film’s introduction features animations, footage of war, explosions, and the September 11 attacks and audio quotes from Chgyam Trungpa Rinpoche and George Carlin. The rest of the film is in three parts narrated by Peter Joseph.[6]

Part I asserts that the Christian religion is mainly derived from other religions, astronomical assertions, astrological myths, and other traditions. In furtherance of the Jesus myth hypothesis, this part disputes the historicity of Jesus, who, it claims, is a literary and astrological hybrid, nurtured by political forces and opportunists.[6]

Part II alleges that the 9/11 attacks were either orchestrated or allowed to happen by elements within the United States government in order to generate mass fear, justify the War on Terror, provide a pretext for the curtailment of civil liberties, and produce economic gain. It asserts that the U.S. government had advance knowledge of the attacks, that the military deliberately allowed the planes to reach their targets, and that World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 underwent a controlled demolition.[6]

Part III states that the Federal Reserve System is controlled by a small cabal of international bankers who conspire to create global calamities to enrich themselves.[4] Three wars involving the United States during the twentieth century are highlighted as part of this alleged agenda, started by specifically engineered events, including the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The film asserts that such wars serve to sustain conflict in general and force the U.S. government to borrow money, thereby increasing the profits of the international bankers. The film also claims that the Federal Income Tax is illegal.[6]

Part III also alleges a secret agreement to merge the United States, Canada and Mexico into a North American Union as a step toward the creation of a single world government. The film speculates that under such a government, every human could be implanted with an RFID chip to monitor individual activity and suppress dissent.

The first film received almost universal condemnation from the media, though it also “attracted massive interest” from the public.[5][7]

The newspaper The Arizona Republic described Zeitgeist: The Movie as “a bramble of conspiracy theories involving Sept. 11, the international monetary system, and Christianity” saying also that the movie trailer states that “there are people guiding your life and you don’t even know it”.[8]

A review in The Irish Times wrote that “these are surreal perversions of genuine issues and debates, and they tarnish all criticism of faith, the Bush administration, and globalizationthere are more than enough factual injustices in this world to be going around without having to invent fictional ones”.[7]

Ivor Tossell in the Globe and Mail cited it as an example of how modern conspiracy theories are promulgated, though he praised its effectiveness:

“The film is an interesting object lesson on how conspiracy theories get to be so popular…. It’s a driven, if uneven, piece of propaganda, a marvel of tight editing and fuzzy thinking. Its on-camera sources are mostly conspiracy theorists, co-mingled with selective eyewitness accounts, drawn from archival footage and often taken out of context. It derides the media as a pawn of the International Bankers, but produces media reports for credibility when convenient. The film ignores expert opinion, except the handful of experts who agree with it. And yet, it’s compelling. It shamelessly ploughs forward, connecting dots with an earnest certainty that makes you want to give it an A for effort.”[4]

Filipe Feio, reflecting upon the film’s Internet popularity in Dirio de Notcias, stated that “[f]iction or not, Zeitgeist: The Movie threatens to become the champion of conspiracy theories of today”.[9]

Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society, mentioned Zeitgeist in an article in Scientific American on skepticism in the age of mass media and the postmodern belief in the relativism of truth. He argues that this belief, coupled with a “clicker culture of mass media,” results in a multitude of various truth claims packaged in “infotainment units”, in the form of films such as Zeitgeist and Loose Change.[10]

Jane Chapman, a film producer and reader in media studies at the University of Lincoln, called Zeitgeist “a fast-paced assemblage of agitprop,” an example of “unethical film-making”.[11] She accused Peter Joseph of “implicit deception” through the use of standard film-making propaganda techniques. While parts of the film are, she says, “comically” self-defeating, the nature of “twisted evidence” and use of Madrid bomb footage to imply it is of the London bombings amount to “ethical abuse in sourcing”. She finishes her analysis with the comment: “Thus, legitimate questions about what happened on 9/11, and about corruption in religious and financial organizations, are all undermined by the film’s determined effort to maximize an emotional response at the expense of reasoned argument.”

Alex Jones, American radio host, conspiracy theorist and executive producer of Loose Change, stated that film segments of Zeitgeist are taken directly from his documentary Terrorstorm, and that he supports “90 percent” of the film.[12]

Skeptic magazine’s Tim Callahan, criticizing the parts of the film on the origins of Christianity, wrote that “some of what it asserts is true. Unfortunately, this material is liberallyand sloppilymixed with material that is only partially true and much that is plainly and simply bogus.”[13]

Chris Forbes, Senior lecturer in Ancient History of Macquarie University and member of the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, severely criticized Part I of the film, stating that it has no basis in serious scholarship or ancient sources, and that it relies on amateur sources that recycle frivolous ideas from one another, commenting that “[i]t is extraordinary how many claims it makes which are simply not true”.[14] Similar conclusions were reached by Dr. Mark Foreman of Liberty University.[15]

Paul Constant writing in Seattle newspaper The Stranger characterized the film as “fiction couched in a few facts”.[6] Of the religious critique in the film he said: “First the film destroys the idea of God, and then, through the lens of 9/11, it introduces a sort of new Bizarro God. Instead of an omnipotent, omniscient being who loves you and has inspired a variety of organized religions, there is an omnipotent, omniscient organization of ruthless beings who hate you and want to take your rights away, if not throw you in a work camp forever.”[6] Adding “it’s probably drawing more people into the Truth movement than anything else”.[6]

In Tablet Magazine, journalist Michelle Goldberg criticized Zeitgeist: The Movie as being “steeped in far-right, isolationist, and covertly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” claiming that the film borrowed from the work of Eustace Mullins, Lyndon LaRouche, and radio host Alex Jones, and that it portrays a cabal of international bankers purportedly ruling the world.[5] In an interview with TheMarker, Joseph said that while the film does mention bankers it does not seek to blame any individual or group of individuals. He argued they are merely a product of a socioeconomic system in need of change.[16]

Chip Berlet wrote that the 9/11 conspiracy theories “are bait used to attract viewers from the 9/11 truth movement and others who embrace conspiracist thinking to the idiosyncratic antireligion views of the videographer and the world of right-wing antisemitic theories of a global banking conspiracy”.[17]

Jay Kinney questioned the accuracy of its claims and the quality of its arguments, describing it as agitprop and propaganda.[18] At times, according to Kinney, “Zeitgeist engages in willful confusion by showing TV screen shots of network or cable news with voice-overs from unidentified people not associated with the news programs. If one weren’t paying close attention, the effect would be to confer the status and authority of TV news upon the words being spoken. Even when quotes or sound bites are attributed to a source, there’s no way to tell if they are quoted correctly or in context.”[18]

In June 2013, Peter Joseph directed the music video for “God Is Dead?” by Black Sabbath, using extensive imagery from Zeitgeist: The Movie and its sequels.[19]

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Zeitgeist: Addendum is a 2008 film produced and directed by Peter Joseph, and is a sequel to the 2007 film, Zeitgeist: The Movie. It premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles, California on October 2, 2008.[citation needed]

The film begins and ends with excerpts from a speech by Jiddu Krishnamurti. The remainder of the film is narrated by Peter Joseph and divided into four parts, which are prefaced by on-screen quotations from Krishnamurti, John Adams, Bernard Lietaer, and Thomas Paine, respectively.

Part I covers the process of fractional-reserve banking as illustrated in Modern Money Mechanics, by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The film suggests that society is manipulated into economic slavery through debt-based monetary policies by requiring individuals to submit for employment in order to pay off their debt.

Part II has an interview with John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, who says he was involved in the subjugation of Latin American economies by multinational corporations and the United States government, including involvement in the overthrow of Latin American heads-of-state. Perkins sees the US as a corporatocracy, in which maximization of profits is the first priority.

Part III introduces futurist Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project and asserts a need to move away from current socioeconomic paradigms. Fresco states that capitalism perpetuates the conditions it claims to address, as problems are only solved if there is money to be made. The film looks at Fresco’s proposal of a resource-based economy, which puts environmental friendliness, sustainability and abundance as fundamental societal goals. He goes on to discuss technology which he sees as the primary driver of human advancement, and he describes politics as being unable to solve any problems.

Part IV suggests that the primary reason for what the film sees as society’s social values (“warfare, corruption, oppressive laws, social stratification, irrelevant superstitions, environmental destruction, and a despotic, socially indifferent, profit oriented ruling class”) is a collective ignorance of “the emergent and symbiotic aspects of natural law”. The film advocates the following actions for achieving social change: boycotting of the most powerful banks in the Federal Reserve System, the major news networks, the military, energy corporations, all political systems; and joining, and supporting The Zeitgeist Movement.

Zeitgeist: Addendum won the 2008 Artivist Film Festival’s award for best feature (“Artivist Spirit” category).[20]

Originally, the film was uploaded-released on Google video. The current video posting on YouTube surpassed 5,000,000 views by late 2013.[21]

Alan Feuer of The New York Times noted that while the first film was famous for alleging that the attacks of September 11 were an inside job, the second, “was all but empty of such conspiratorial notions, directing its rhetoric and high production values toward posing a replacement for the evils of the banking system and a perilous economy of scarcity and debt”.[22]

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is the third installment in Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist film series. The film premiered at the JACC Theater in Los Angeles on January 15, 2011 at the Artivist Film Festival,[23] was released in theaters and online. As of November 2014, the film has over 23 million views on YouTube.[24] The film is arranged into four parts. Each part contains interviews, narration and animated sequences.[25]

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The film begins with an animated sequence narrated by Jacque Fresco. He describes his adolescent life and his discontinuation of public education at the age of 14 and describes his early life influences.

Part I: Human Nature

Human behavior and the nature vs. nurture debate is discussed, which Robert Sapolsky refers to as a “false dichotomy.” Disease, criminal activity, and addictions are also discussed. The overall conclusion of Part I is that social environment and cultural conditioning play a large part in shaping human behavior.

Part II: Social Pathology

John Locke and Adam Smith are discussed in regard to modern economics. The film critically questions the economic need for private property, money, and the inherent inequality between agents in the system. Also seen critically is the need for cyclical consumption in order to maintain market share, resulting in wasted resources and planned obsolescence. According to the movie, the current monetary system will result in default or hyperinflation at some future time.

Part III: Project Earth

As with Zeitgeist: Addendum, the film presents a “resource-based economy” as advocated by Jacque Fresco discussing how human civilization could start from a new beginning in relation to resource types, locations, quantities, to satisfy human demands; track the consumption and depletion of resources to regulate human demands and maintain the condition of the environment.

Part IV: Rise

The current worldwide situation is described as disastrous. A case is presented that pollution, deforestation, climate change, overpopulation, and warfare are all created and perpetuated by the socioeconomic system. Various poverty statistics are shown that suggest a progressive worsening of world culture.

The final scene of the film shows a partial view of earth from space, followed by a sequence of superimposed statements; “This is your world”, “This is our world”, and “The revolution is now”.

List of Interviewees

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward received “Best Political Documentary” in 2011 from the Action on Film International Film Festival.[26]

A The Socialist Standard review said the film’s use of animation and humour gave it a “well rounded feel”, though it criticized the “shaky economic analysis” in the second part of the film, saying “Karl Marx had already undertaken a more scientific analysis”, adding, “the analysis is at least on the right track”. Regarding transition to the new system proposed in the film, the reviewer noted “there is no mention of how to get from here to there”.[27]

In an article, in Tablet Magazine, Michelle Goldberg described the film as “silly enough that at times [she] suspected it was [a] sly satire about new-age techno-utopianism instead of an example of it”.[5] She describes the 3 Zeitgeist movies as “a series of 3 apocalyptic cult documentaries.[5]

Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007) started the chain of events leading to the formation of the Zeitgeist movement.[5] The group advocates transition from the global money-based economic system to a post-scarcity economy or resource-based economy. VC Reporter’s Shane Cohn summarized the movement’s charter as: “Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system”.[28] Joseph created a political movement that, according to The Daily Telegraph, dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading and embraces a version of sustainable ecological concepts and scientific administration of society.[29] The group describes the current socioeconomic system as structurally corrupt and inefficient in the use of resources.[22][30]Michelle Goldberg described the Zeitgeist movement as “the first Internet-based apocalyptic cult”.[5]

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Virtual reality headset – Wikipedia

Posted: November 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm

A virtual reality headset provides immersive virtual reality for the wearer. VR headsets are widely used with computer games but they are also used in other applications, including simulators and trainers. They comprise a stereoscopic head-mounted display (providing separate images for each eye), stereo sound, and head motion tracking sensors[1] (which may include gyroscopes, accelerometers, structured light systems,[2] etc.). Some VR headsets also have eye tracking sensors[3] and gaming controllers.

An early VR headset, the Forte VFX1, was announced at CES in 1994. The VFX-1 has stereoscopic displays, 3-axis head-tracking, and stereo headphones.[4] Sony, another pioneer, released the Glasstron in 1997, which has an optional positional sensor, allowing the wearer to view the surroundings, with the perspective moving as his head moves, giving a deep sense of immersion. These VR headsets gave MechWarrior 2 players a new visual perspective of seeing the battlefield from inside the cockpit of their craft. However, these early headsets failed commercially due to their limited technology[5][6] and were described by John Carmack as like “looking through toilet paper tubes”.[7]

In 2012, a crowdfunding campaign began for a VR headset known as Oculus Rift; the project was led by several prominent video game developers, including John Carmack[5] who later became the company’s CTO.[8] In March 2014, the project’s parent company Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for US$2 billion.[9] The final consumer-oriented release of Oculus Rift began shipping on 28 March 2016.[10]

In March 2014, Sony demonstrated a prototype headset for PlayStation 4,[11] which was later named PlayStation VR.[12] In 2014, Valve Corporation demonstrated some headset prototypes,[13] which lead to a partnership with HTC to produce the Vive, which focuses on “room scale” VR environments that users can naturally navigate within and interact with.[14] The Vive was planned for a release in April 2016.[15] and PlayStation VR later in 2016.[16]

Virtual reality headsets and viewers have also been designed for smartphones. Unlike headsets with integrated displays, these units are essentially enclosures which a smartphone can be inserted into. VR content is viewed from the screen of the device itself through lenses acting as a stereoscope, rather than using dedicated internal displays. Google released a series of specifications and associated DIY kits for virtual reality viewers known as Google Cardboard; these viewers are capable of being constructed using low-cost materials, such as cardboard (hence the naming). Samsung Electronics parterned with Oculus VR to co-develop the Samsung Gear VR (which is only compatible with recent Samsung Galaxy devices), while LG Electronics developed a headset with dedicated displays for its LG G5 smartphone known as LG 360 VR.[17][18][19][20]

Virtual reality headsets have significantly higher requirements for latencythe time it takes from a change in input to have a visual effectthan ordinary video games.[21] If the system is too sluggish to react to head movement, then it can cause the user to experience virtual reality sickness, a kind of motion sickness.[22] According to a Valve engineer, the ideal latency would be 7-15 milliseconds.[23] A major component of this latency is the refresh rate of the display,[22] which has driven the adoption of displays with a refresh rate from 90Hz (Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) to 120Hz (PlayStation VR).[16]

The graphics processing unit (GPU) also needs to be more powerful to render frames more frequently. Oculus cited the limited processing power of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as the reason why they are targeting the PC gaming market with their first devices.[24]

A common way to reduce the perceived latency[25] or compensate for a lower frame rate,[26] is to take an (older) rendered frame and morph it according to the most recent head tracking data just before presenting the image on the screens. This is called asynchronous reprojection[27] or “asynchronous time warp” in Oculus jargon.[28]

PlayStation VR synthesizes “in-between frames” in such manner, so games that render at 60 fps natively result in 120 updates per second.[16][26] SteamVR (HTC Vive) will also use “interleaved reprojection” for games that cannot keep up with its 90Hz refresh rate, dropping down to 45 fps.[29]

The simplest technique is applying only projective transformation to the images for each eye (simulating rotation of the eye). The downsides are that this approach cannot take into account the translation (changes in position) of the head. And the rotation can only happen around the axis of the eyeball, instead of the neck, which is the true axis for head rotation. When applied multiple times to a single frame, this causes “positional judder”, because position is not updated with every frame.[25][30][31]

A more complex technique is positional time warp, which uses pixel depth information from the Z-buffer to morph the scene into a different perspective. This produces other artifacts because it has no information about faces that are hidden due to occlusion[30] and cannot compensate for position-dependent effects like reflections and specular lighting. While it gets rid of the positional judder, judder still presents itself in animations, as timewarped frames are effectively frozen.[31] Support for positional time warp was added to the Oculus SDK in May 2015.[32]

Because virtual reality headsets stretch a single display across a wide field of view (up to 110 for some devices according to manufacturers), the magnification factor makes flaws in display technology much more apparent. One issue is the so-called screen-door effect, where the gaps between rows and columns of pixels become visible, kind of like looking through a screen door.[33] This was especially noticeable in earlier prototypes and development kits,[6] which had lower resolutions than the retail versions.

The lenses of the headset are responsible for mapping the up-close display to a wide field of view,[34][35] while also providing a more comfortable distant point of focus. One challenge with this is providing consistency of focus: because eyes are free to turn within the headset, it’s important to avoid having to refocus to prevent eye strain.[36]

The lens introduce distortion and chromatic aberration, which are corrected in software.[34]

Virtual reality headsets are being currently used as means to train medical students for surgery. It allows them to perform essential procedures in a virtual, controlled environment. Students perform surgeries on virtual patients, which allows them to acquire the skills needed to perform surgeries on real patients.[37] It also allows the students to revisit the surgeries from the perspective of the lead surgeon.[38]

Traditionally, students had to participate in surgeries and often they would miss essential parts. But, now surgeons have been recording surgical procedures and students are now able to watch whole surgeries again from the perspective of lead surgeons with the use of VR headsets, without missing essential parts. Students can also pause, rewind, and fast forward surgeries.[38]

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Moon – Wikipedia

Posted: at 3:35 pm

The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). It is the second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known (after Jupiter’s satellite Io).

The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 384,400km (238,900mi),[10][11] or 1.28 light-seconds.

The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, not long after Earth. There are several hypotheses for its origin; the most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia.

The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face, with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, as measured by illuminance on Earth’s surface. Its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, calendars, art, mythology, and apparently, the menstrual cycles of the female of the human species.

The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon’s current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, with its apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun, resulting in the Moon covering the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moon’s linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.820.07 centimetres (1.5040.028in) per year, but this rate is not constant.

The Soviet Union’s Luna programme was the first to reach the Moon with uncrewed spacecraft in 1959; the United States’ NASA Apollo program achieved the only crewed missions to date, beginning with the first crewed lunar orbiting mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six crewed lunar landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned over 380kg (840lb) of lunar rocks, which have been used to develop a geological understanding of the Moon’s origin, the formation of its internal structure, and its subsequent history. Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by uncrewed spacecraft.

The usual English proper name for Earth’s natural satellite is “the Moon”.[12][13] The noun moon is derived from moone (around 1380), which developed from mone (1135), which is derived from Old English mna (dating from before 725), which ultimately stems from Proto-Germanic *mnn, like all Germanic language cognates.[14] Occasionally, the name “Luna” is used. In literature, especially science fiction, “Luna” is used to distinguish it from other moons, while in poetry, the name has been used to denote personification of our moon.[15]

The principal modern English adjective pertaining to the Moon is lunar, derived from the Latin Luna. A less common adjective is selenic, derived from the Ancient Greek Selene (), from which is derived the prefix “seleno-” (as in selenography).[16][17] Both the Greek Selene and the Roman goddess Diana were alternatively called Cynthia.[18] The names Luna, Cynthia, and Selene are reflected in terminology for lunar orbits in words such as apolune, pericynthion, and selenocentric. The name Diana is connected to dies meaning ‘day’.

Several mechanisms have been proposed for the Moon’s formation 4.53 billion years ago,[f] and some 3050 million years after the origin of the Solar System.[19] Recent research presented by Rick Carlson indicates a slightly lower age of between 4.40 and 4.45 billion years.[20][21] These mechanisms included the fission of the Moon from Earth’s crust through centrifugal force[22] (which would require too great an initial spin of Earth),[23] the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon[24] (which would require an unfeasibly extended atmosphere of Earth to dissipate the energy of the passing Moon),[23] and the co-formation of Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk (which does not explain the depletion of metals in the Moon).[23] These hypotheses also cannot account for the high angular momentum of the EarthMoon system.[25]

The prevailing hypothesis is that the EarthMoon system formed as a result of the impact of a Mars-sized body (named Theia) with the proto-Earth Earth (giant impact), that blasted material into orbit about the Earth that then accreted to form the present Earth-Moon system.[26][27]

This hypothesis, although not perfect, perhaps best explains the evidence. Eighteen months prior to an October 1984 conference on lunar origins, Bill Hartmann, Roger Phillips, and Jeff Taylor challenged fellow lunar scientists: “You have eighteen months. Go back to your Apollo data, go back to your computer, do whatever you have to, but make up your mind. Don’t come to our conference unless you have something to say about the Moon’s birth.” At the 1984 conference at Kona, Hawaii, the giant impact hypothesis emerged as the most popular.

Before the conference, there were partisans of the three “traditional” theories, plus a few people who were starting to take the giant impact seriously, and there was a huge apathetic middle who didnt think the debate would ever be resolved. Afterward there were essentially only two groups: the giant impact camp and the agnostics.[28]

Giant impacts are thought to have been common in the early Solar System. Computer simulations of a giant impact have produced results that are consistent with the mass of the lunar core and the present angular momentum of the EarthMoon system. These simulations also show that most of the Moon derived from the impactor, rather than the proto-Earth.[29] More recent simulations suggest a larger fraction of the Moon derived from the original Earth mass.[30][31][32][33] Studies of meteorites originating from inner Solar System bodies such as Mars and Vesta show that they have very different oxygen and tungsten isotopic compositions as compared to Earth, whereas Earth and the Moon have nearly identical isotopic compositions. The isotopic equalization of the Earth-Moon system might be explained by the post-impact mixing of the vaporized material that formed the two,[34] although this is debated.[35]

The great amount of energy released in the impact event and the subsequent re-accretion of that material into the Earth-Moon system would have melted the outer shell of Earth, forming a magma ocean.[36][37] Similarly, the newly formed Moon would also have been affected and had its own lunar magma ocean; estimates for its depth range from about 500km (300 miles) to its entire depth (1,737km (1,079 miles)).[36]

While the giant impact hypothesis might explain many lines of evidence, there are still some unresolved questions, most of which involve the Moon’s composition.[38]

In 2001, a team at the Carnegie Institute of Washington reported the most precise measurement of the isotopic signatures of lunar rocks.[39] To their surprise, the team found that the rocks from the Apollo program carried an isotopic signature that was identical with rocks from Earth, and were different from almost all other bodies in the Solar System. Because most of the material that went into orbit to form the Moon was thought to come from Theia, this observation was unexpected. In 2007, researchers from the California Institute of Technology announced that there was less than a 1% chance that Theia and Earth had identical isotopic signatures.[40] Published in 2012, an analysis of titanium isotopes in Apollo lunar samples showed that the Moon has the same composition as Earth,[41] which conflicts with what is expected if the Moon formed far from Earth’s orbit or from Theia. Variations on the giant impact hypothesis may explain this data.

The Moon is a differentiated body: it has a geochemically distinct crust, mantle, and core. The Moon has a solid iron-rich inner core with a radius of 240km (150mi) and a fluid outer core primarily made of liquid iron with a radius of roughly 300km (190mi). Around the core is a partially molten boundary layer with a radius of about 500km (310mi).[43] This structure is thought to have developed through the fractional crystallization of a global magma ocean shortly after the Moon’s formation 4.5billion years ago.[44] Crystallization of this magma ocean would have created a mafic mantle from the precipitation and sinking of the minerals olivine, clinopyroxene, and orthopyroxene; after about three-quarters of the magma ocean had crystallised, lower-density plagioclase minerals could form and float into a crust atop.[45] The final liquids to crystallise would have been initially sandwiched between the crust and mantle, with a high abundance of incompatible and heat-producing elements.[1] Consistent with this perspective, geochemical mapping made from orbit suggests the crust of mostly anorthosite.[9] The Moon rock samples of the flood lavas that erupted onto the surface from partial melting in the mantle confirm the mafic mantle composition, which is more iron rich than that of Earth.[1] The crust is on average about 50km (31mi) thick.[1]

The Moon is the second-densest satellite in the Solar System, after Io.[46] However, the inner core of the Moon is small, with a radius of about 350km (220mi) or less,[1] around 20% of the radius of the Moon. Its composition is not well defined, but is probably metallic iron alloyed with a small amount of sulfur and nickel; analyses of the Moon’s time-variable rotation suggest that it is at least partly molten.[47]

The topography of the Moon has been measured with laser altimetry and stereo image analysis.[48] Its most visible topographic feature is the giant far-side South PoleAitken basin, some 2,240km (1,390mi) in diameter, the largest crater on the Moon and the second-largest confirmed impact crater in the Solar System.[49][50] At 13km (8.1mi) deep, its floor is the lowest point on the surface of the Moon.[49][51] The highest elevations of the Moon’s surface are located directly to the northeast, and it has been suggested might have been thickened by the oblique formation impact of the South PoleAitken basin.[52] Other large impact basins, such as Imbrium, Serenitatis, Crisium, Smythii, and Orientale, also possess regionally low elevations and elevated rims.[49] The far side of the lunar surface is on average about 1.9km (1.2mi) higher than that of the near side.[1]

The discovery of fault scarp cliffs by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that the Moon has shrunk within the past billion years, by about 90 metres (300ft).[53] Similar shrinkage features exist on Mercury.

The dark and relatively featureless lunar plains, clearly be seen with the naked eye, are called maria (Latin for “seas”; singular mare), as they were once believed to be filled with water;[54] they are now known to be vast solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava. Although similar to terrestrial basalts, lunar basalts have more iron and no minerals altered by water.[55][56] The majority of these lavas erupted or flowed into the depressions associated with impact basins. Several geologic provinces containing shield volcanoes and volcanic domes are found within the near side “maria”.[57]

Almost all maria are on the near side of the Moon, and cover 31% of the surface of the near side,[58] compared with 2% of the far side.[59] This is thought to be due to a concentration of heat-producing elements under the crust on the near side, seen on geochemical maps obtained by Lunar Prospector’s gamma-ray spectrometer, which would have caused the underlying mantle to heat up, partially melt, rise to the surface and erupt.[45][60][61] Most of the Moon’s mare basalts erupted during the Imbrian period, 3.03.5billion years ago, although some radiometrically dated samples are as old as 4.2billion years.[62] Until recently, the youngest eruptions, dated by crater counting, appeared to have been only 1.2billion years ago.[63] In 2006, a study of Ina, a tiny depression in Lacus Felicitatis, found jagged, relatively dust-free features that, due to the lack of erosion by infalling debris, appeared to be only 2 million years old.[64]Moonquakes and releases of gas also indicate some continued lunar activity.[64] In 2014 NASA announced “widespread evidence of young lunar volcanism” at 70 irregular mare patches identified by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, some less than 50 million years old. This raises the possibility of a much warmer lunar mantle than previously believed, at least on the near side where the deep crust is substantially warmer due to the greater concentration of radioactive elements.[65][66][67][68] Just prior to this, evidence has been presented for 210 million years younger basaltic volcanism inside Lowell crater,[69][70] Orientale basin, located in the transition zone between the near and far sides of the Moon. An initially hotter mantle and/or local enrichment of heat-producing elements in the mantle could be responsible for prolonged activities also on the far side in the Orientale basin.[71][72]

The lighter-coloured regions of the Moon are called terrae, or more commonly highlands, because they are higher than most maria. They have been radiometrically dated to having formed 4.4billion years ago, and may represent plagioclase cumulates of the lunar magma ocean.[62][63] In contrast to Earth, no major lunar mountains are believed to have formed as a result of tectonic events.[73]

The concentration of maria on the Near Side likely reflects the substantially thicker crust of the highlands of the Far Side, which may have formed in a slow-velocity impact of a second moon of Earth a few tens of millions of years after their formation.[74][75]

The other major geologic process that has affected the Moon’s surface is impact cratering,[76] with craters formed when asteroids and comets collide with the lunar surface. There are estimated to be roughly 300,000 craters wider than 1km (0.6mi) on the Moon’s near side alone.[77] The lunar geologic timescale is based on the most prominent impact events, including Nectaris, Imbrium, and Orientale, structures characterized by multiple rings of uplifted material, between hundreds and thousands of kilometres in diameter and associated with a broad apron of ejecta deposits that form a regional stratigraphic horizon.[78] The lack of an atmosphere, weather and recent geological processes mean that many of these craters are well-preserved. Although only a few multi-ring basins have been definitively dated, they are useful for assigning relative ages. Because impact craters accumulate at a nearly constant rate, counting the number of craters per unit area can be used to estimate the age of the surface.[78] The radiometric ages of impact-melted rocks collected during the Apollo missions cluster between 3.8 and 4.1billion years old: this has been used to propose a Late Heavy Bombardment of impacts.[79]

Blanketed on top of the Moon’s crust is a highly comminuted (broken into ever smaller particles) and impact gardened surface layer called regolith, formed by impact processes. The finer regolith, the lunar soil of silicon dioxide glass, has a texture resembling snow and a scent resembling spent gunpowder.[80] The regolith of older surfaces is generally thicker than for younger surfaces: it varies in thickness from 1020km (6.212.4mi) in the highlands and 35km (1.93.1mi) in the maria.[81] Beneath the finely comminuted regolith layer is the megaregolith, a layer of highly fractured bedrock many kilometres thick.[82]

Comparison of high-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has shown a contemporary crater-production rate significantly higher than previously estimated. A secondary cratering process caused by distal ejecta is thought to churn the top two centimetres of regolith a hundred times more quickly than previous models suggestedon a timescale of 81,000 years.[83][84]

Lunar swirls are enigmatic features found across the Moon’s surface, which are characterized by a high albedo, appearing optically immature (i.e. the optical characteristics of a relatively young regolith), and often displaying a sinuous shape. Their curvilinear shape is often accentuated by low albedo regions that wind between the bright swirls.

Liquid water cannot persist on the lunar surface. When exposed to solar radiation, water quickly decomposes through a process known as photodissociation and is lost to space. However, since the 1960s, scientists have hypothesized that water ice may be deposited by impacting comets or possibly produced by the reaction of oxygen-rich lunar rocks, and hydrogen from solar wind, leaving traces of water which could possibly survive in cold, permanently shadowed craters at either pole on the Moon.[85][86] Computer simulations suggest that up to 14,000km2 (5,400sqmi) of the surface may be in permanent shadow.[87] The presence of usable quantities of water on the Moon is an important factor in rendering lunar habitation as a cost-effective plan; the alternative of transporting water from Earth would be prohibitively expensive.[88]

In years since, signatures of water have been found to exist on the lunar surface.[89] In 1994, the bistatic radar experiment located on the Clementine spacecraft, indicated the existence of small, frozen pockets of water close to the surface. However, later radar observations by Arecibo, suggest these findings may rather be rocks ejected from young impact craters.[90] In 1998, the neutron spectrometer on the Lunar Prospector spacecraft, showed that high concentrations of hydrogen are present in the first meter of depth in the regolith near the polar regions.[91] Volcanic lava beads, brought back to Earth aboard Apollo 15, showed small amounts of water in their interior.[92]

The 2008 Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has since confirmed the existence of surface water ice, using the on-board Moon Mineralogy Mapper. The spectrometer observed absorption lines common to hydroxyl, in reflected sunlight, providing evidence of large quantities of water ice, on the lunar surface. The spacecraft showed that concentrations may possibly be as high as 1,000ppm.[93] In 2009, LCROSS sent a 2,300kg (5,100lb) impactor into a permanently shadowed polar crater, and detected at least 100kg (220lb) of water in a plume of ejected material.[94][95] Another examination of the LCROSS data showed the amount of detected water to be closer to 15512kg (34226lb).[96]

In May 2011, 6151410 ppm water in melt inclusions in lunar sample 74220 was reported,[97] the famous high-titanium “orange glass soil” of volcanic origin collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The inclusions were formed during explosive eruptions on the Moon approximately 3.7 billion years ago. This concentration is comparable with that of magma in Earth’s upper mantle. Although of considerable selenological interest, Hauri’s announcement affords little comfort to would-be lunar coloniststhe sample originated many kilometers below the surface, and the inclusions are so difficult to access that it took 39 years to find them with a state-of-the-art ion microprobe instrument.

The gravitational field of the Moon has been measured through tracking the Doppler shift of radio signals emitted by orbiting spacecraft. The main lunar gravity features are mascons, large positive gravitational anomalies associated with some of the giant impact basins, partly caused by the dense mare basaltic lava flows that fill those basins.[98][99] The anomalies greatly influence the orbit of spacecraft about the Moon. There are some puzzles: lava flows by themselves cannot explain all of the gravitational signature, and some mascons exist that are not linked to mare volcanism.[100]

The Moon has an external magnetic field of about 1100 nanoteslas, less than one-hundredth that of Earth. It does not currently have a global dipolar magnetic field and only has crustal magnetization, probably acquired early in lunar history when a dynamo was still operating.[101][102] Alternatively, some of the remnant magnetization may be from transient magnetic fields generated during large impact events through the expansion of an impact-generated plasma cloud in the presence of an ambient magnetic field. This is supported by the apparent location of the largest crustal magnetizations near the antipodes of the giant impact basins.[103]

The Moon has an atmosphere so tenuous as to be nearly vacuum, with a total mass of less than 10 metric tons (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons).[106] The surface pressure of this small mass is around 3 1015atm (0.3nPa); it varies with the lunar day. Its sources include outgassing and sputtering, a product of the bombardment of lunar soil by solar wind ions.[9][107] Elements that have been detected include sodium and potassium, produced by sputtering (also found in the atmospheres of Mercury and Io); helium-4 and neon[108] from the solar wind; and argon-40, radon-222, and polonium-210, outgassed after their creation by radioactive decay within the crust and mantle.[109][110] The absence of such neutral species (atoms or molecules) as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and magnesium, which are present in the regolith, is not understood.[109] Water vapour has been detected by Chandrayaan-1 and found to vary with latitude, with a maximum at ~6070degrees; it is possibly generated from the sublimation of water ice in the regolith.[111] These gases either return into the regolith due to the Moon’s gravity or be lost to space, either through solar radiation pressure or, if they are ionized, by being swept away by the solar wind’s magnetic field.[109]

A permanent asymmetric moon dust cloud exists around the Moon, created by small particles from comets. Estimates are 5 tons of comet particles strike the Moon’s surface each 24 hours. The particles strike the Moon’s surface ejecting moon dust above the Moon. The dust stays above the Moon approximately 10 minutes, taking 5 minutes to rise, and 5 minutes to fall. On average, 120 kilograms of dust are present above the Moon, rising to 100 kilometers above the surface. The dust measurements were made by LADEE’s Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX), between 20 and 100 kilometers above the surface, during a six-month period. LDEX detected an average of one 0.3 micrometer moon dust particle each minute. Dust particle counts peaked during the Geminid, Quadrantid, Northern Taurid, and Omicron Centaurid meteor showers, when the Earth, and Moon, pass through comet debris. The cloud is asymmetric, more dense near the boundary between the Moon’s dayside and nightside.[112][113]

The Moon’s axial tilt with respect to the ecliptic is only 1.5424,[114] much less than the 23.44 of Earth. Because of this, the Moon’s solar illumination varies much less with season, and topographical details play a crucial role in seasonal effects.[115] From images taken by Clementine in 1994, it appears that four mountainous regions on the rim of Peary Crater at the Moon’s north pole may remain illuminated for the entire lunar day, creating peaks of eternal light. No such regions exist at the south pole. Similarly, there are places that remain in permanent shadow at the bottoms of many polar craters,[87] and these dark craters are extremely cold: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter measured the lowest summer temperatures in craters at the southern pole at 35K (238C; 397F)[116] and just 26K (247C; 413F) close to the winter solstice in north polar Hermite Crater. This is the coldest temperature in the Solar System ever measured by a spacecraft, colder even than the surface of Pluto.[115] Average temperatures of the Moon’s surface are reported, but temperatures of different areas will vary greatly depending upon whether it is in sunlight or shadow.[117]

The Moon makes a complete orbit around Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every 27.3days[g] (its sidereal period). However, because Earth is moving in its orbit around the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5days[h] (its synodic period).[58] Unlike most satellites of other planets, the Moon orbits closer to the ecliptic plane than to the planet’s equatorial plane. The Moon’s orbit is subtly perturbed by the Sun and Earth in many small, complex and interacting ways. For example, the plane of the Moon’s orbital motion gradually rotates, which affects other aspects of lunar motion. These follow-on effects are mathematically described by Cassini’s laws.[118]

The Moon is exceptionally large relative to Earth: a quarter its diameter and 1/81 its mass.[58] It is the largest moon in the Solar System relative to the size of its planet,[i] though Charon is larger relative to the dwarf planet Pluto, at 1/9 Pluto’s mass.[j][119] Earth and the Moon are nevertheless still considered a planetsatellite system, rather than a double planet, because their barycentre, the common centre of mass, is located 1,700km (1,100mi) (about a quarter of Earth’s radius) beneath Earth’s surface.[120]

The Moon is in synchronous rotation: it rotates about its axis in about the same time it takes to orbit Earth. This results in it nearly always keeping the same face turned towards Earth. The Moon used to rotate at a faster rate, but early in its history, its rotation slowed and became tidally locked in this orientation as a result of frictional effects associated with tidal deformations caused by Earth.[121] With time, the energy of rotation of the Moon on its axis was dissipated as heat, until there was no rotation of the Moon relative to the Earth. The side of the Moon that faces Earth is called the near side, and the opposite the far side. The far side is often inaccurately called the “dark side”, but it is in fact illuminated as often as the near side: once per lunar day, during the new moon phase we observe on Earth when the near side is dark.[122] In 2016, planetary scientists, using data collected on the much earlier Nasa Lunar Prospector mission, found two hydrogen-rich areas on opposite sides of the Moon, probably in the form of water ice. It is speculated that these patches were the poles of the Moon billions of years ago, before it was tidally locked to Earth.[123]

The Moon has an exceptionally low albedo, giving it a reflectance that is slightly brighter than that of worn asphalt. Despite this, it is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun.[58][k] This is partly due to the brightness enhancement of the opposition effect; at quarter phase, the Moon is only one-tenth as bright, rather than half as bright, as at full moon.[124]

Additionally, colour constancy in the visual system recalibrates the relations between the colours of an object and its surroundings, and because the surrounding sky is comparatively dark, the sunlit Moon is perceived as a bright object. The edges of the full moon seem as bright as the centre, with no limb darkening, due to the reflective properties of lunar soil, which reflects more light back towards the Sun than in other directions. The Moon does appear larger when close to the horizon, but this is a purely psychological effect, known as the Moon illusion, first described in the 7th century BC.[125] The full moon subtends an arc of about 0.52 (on average) in the sky, roughly the same apparent size as the Sun (see Eclipses).

The highest altitude of the Moon in the sky varies with the lunar phase and the season of the year. The full moon is highest during winter. The 18.6-year nodes cycle also has an influence: when the ascending node of the lunar orbit is in the vernal equinox, the lunar declination can go as far as 28 each month. This means the Moon can go overhead at latitudes up to 28 from the equator, instead of only 18. The orientation of the Moon’s crescent also depends on the latitude of the observation site: close to the equator, an observer can see a smile-shaped crescent moon.[126]

The Moon is visible for two weeks every 27.3 days at the North and South Pole. The Moon’s light is used by zooplankton in the Arctic when the sun is below the horizon for months on end.[127]

The distance between the Moon and Earth varies from around 356,400km (221,500mi) to 406,700km (252,700mi) at perigees (closest) and apogees (farthest), respectively. On 19 March 2011, it was closer to Earth when at full phase than it has been since 1993, 14% closer than its farthest position in apogee.[128] Reported as a “super moon”, this closest point coincides within an hour of a full moon, and it was 30% more luminous than when at its greatest distance due to its angular diameter being 14% greater, because 1.14 2 1.30 {displaystyle scriptstyle 1.14^{2}approx 1.30} .[129][130][131] At lower levels, the human perception of reduced brightness as a percentage is provided by the following formula:[132][133]

perceived reduction % = 100 actual reduction % 100 {displaystyle {text{perceived reduction}}%=100times {sqrt {{text{actual reduction}}% over 100}}}

When the actual reduction is 1.00 / 1.30, or about 0.770, the perceived reduction is about 0.877, or 1.00 / 1.14. This gives a maximum perceived increase of 14% between apogee and perigee moons of the same phase.[134]

There has been historical controversy over whether features on the Moon’s surface change over time. Today, many of these claims are thought to be illusory, resulting from observation under different lighting conditions, poor astronomical seeing, or inadequate drawings. However, outgassing does occasionally occur, and could be responsible for a minor percentage of the reported lunar transient phenomena. Recently, it has been suggested that a roughly 3km (1.9mi) diameter region of the lunar surface was modified by a gas release event about a million years ago.[135][136] The Moon’s appearance, like that of the Sun, can be affected by Earth’s atmosphere: common effects are a 22 halo ring formed when the Moon’s light is refracted through the ice crystals of high cirrostratus cloud, and smaller coronal rings when the Moon is seen through thin clouds.[137]

The illuminated area of the visible sphere (degree of illumination) is given by 1 2 ( 1 cos e ) {displaystyle {frac {1}{2}}(1-cos e)} , where e {displaystyle e} is the elongation (i.e. the angle between Moon, the observer (on Earth) and the Sun).

The gravitational attraction that masses have for one another decreases inversely with the square of the distance of those masses from each other. As a result, the slightly greater attraction that the Moon has for the side of Earth closest to the Moon, as compared to the part of the Earth opposite the Moon, results in tidal forces. Tidal forces affect both the Earth’s crust and oceans.

The most obvious effect of tidal forces is to cause two bulges in the Earth’s oceans, one on the side facing the Moon and the other on the side opposite. This results in elevated sea levels called ocean tides.[138] As the Earth spins on its axis, one of the ocean bulges (high tide) is held in place “under” the Moon, while another such tide is opposite. As a result, there are two high tides, and two low tides in about 24 hours.[138] Since the Moon is orbiting the Earth in the same direction of the Earth’s rotation, the high tides occur about every 12 hours and 25 minutes; the 25 minutes is due to the Moon’s time to orbit the Earth. The Sun has the same tidal effect on the Earth, but its forces of attraction are only 40% that of the Moon’s; the Sun’s and Moon’s interplay is responsible for spring and neap tides.[138] If the Earth was a water world (one with no continents) it would produce a tide of only one meter, and that tide would be very predictable, but the ocean tides are greatly modified by other effects: the frictional coupling of water to Earth’s rotation through the ocean floors, the inertia of water’s movement, ocean basins that grow shallower near land, the sloshing of water between different ocean basins.[139] As a result, the timing of the tides at most points on the Earth is a product of observations that are explained, incidentally, by theory.

While gravitation causes acceleration and movement of the Earth’s fluid oceans, gravitational coupling between the Moon and Earth’s solid body is mostly elastic and plastic. The result is a further tidal effect of the Moon on the Earth that causes a bulge of the solid portion of the Earth nearest the Moon that acts as a torque in opposition to the Earth’s rotation. This “drains” angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy from Earth’s spin, slowing the Earth’s rotation.[138][140] That angular momentum, lost from the Earth, is transferred to the Moon in a process (confusingly known as tidal acceleration), which lifts the Moon into a higher orbit and results in its lower orbital speed about the Earth. Thus the distance between Earth and Moon is increasing, and the Earth’s spin is slowing in reaction.[140] Measurements from laser reflectors left during the Apollo missions (lunar ranging experiments) have found that the Moon’s distance increases by 38mm (1.5in) per year[141] (roughly the rate at which human fingernails grow).[142]Atomic clocks also show that Earth’s day lengthens by about 15microseconds every year,[143] slowly increasing the rate at which UTC is adjusted by leap seconds. Left to run its course, this tidal drag would continue until the spin of Earth and the orbital period of the Moon matched, creating mutual tidal locking between the two. As a result, the Moon would be suspended in the sky over one meridian, as is already currently the case with Pluto and its moon Charon. However, the Sun will become a red giant long before that, engulfing Earth and we need not worry about the consequences.[144][145]

In a like manner, the lunar surface experiences tides of around 10cm (4in) amplitude over 27days, with two components: a fixed one due to Earth, because they are in synchronous rotation, and a varying component from the Sun.[140] The Earth-induced component arises from libration, a result of the Moon’s orbital eccentricity (if the Moon’s orbit were perfectly circular, there would only be solar tides).[140] Libration also changes the angle from which the Moon is seen, allowing a total of about 59% of its surface to be seen from Earth over time.[58] The cumulative effects of stress built up by these tidal forces produces moonquakes. Moonquakes are much less common and weaker than are earthquakes, although moon quakes can last for up to an houra significantly longer time than terrestrial quakesbecause of the absence of water to damp out the seismic vibrations. The existence of moonquakes was an unexpected discovery from seismometers placed on the Moon by Apollo astronauts from 1969 through 1972.[146]

Eclipses can only occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all in a straight line (termed “syzygy”). Solar eclipses occur at new moon, when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth. In contrast, lunar eclipses occur at full moon, when Earth is between the Sun and Moon. The apparent size of the Moon is roughly the same as that of the Sun, with both being viewed at close to one-half a degree wide. The Sun is much larger than the Moon but it is the precise vastly greater distance that gives it the same apparent size as the much closer and much smaller Moon from the perspective of Earth. The variations in apparent size, due to the non-circular orbits, are nearly the same as well, though occurring in different cycles. This makes possible both total (with the Moon appearing larger than the Sun) and annular (with the Moon appearing smaller than the Sun) solar eclipses.[148] In a total eclipse, the Moon completely covers the disc of the Sun and the solar corona becomes visible to the naked eye. Because the distance between the Moon and Earth is very slowly increasing over time,[138] the angular diameter of the Moon is decreasing. Also, as it evolves toward becoming a red giant, the size of the Sun, and its apparent diameter in the sky, are slowly increasing.[l] The combination of these two changes means that hundreds of millions of years ago, the Moon would always completely cover the Sun on solar eclipses, and no annular eclipses were possible. Likewise, hundreds of millions of years in the future, the Moon will no longer cover the Sun completely, and total solar eclipses will not occur.[149]

Because the Moon’s orbit around Earth is inclined by about 5 to the orbit of Earth around the Sun, eclipses do not occur at every full and new moon. For an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be near the intersection of the two orbital planes.[150] The periodicity and recurrence of eclipses of the Sun by the Moon, and of the Moon by Earth, is described by the saros, which has a period of approximately 18years.[151]

Because the Moon is continuously blocking our view of a half-degree-wide circular area of the sky,[m][152] the related phenomenon of occultation occurs when a bright star or planet passes behind the Moon and is occulted: hidden from view. In this way, a solar eclipse is an occultation of the Sun. Because the Moon is comparatively close to Earth, occultations of individual stars are not visible everywhere on the planet, nor at the same time. Because of the precession of the lunar orbit, each year different stars are occulted.[153]

Understanding of the Moon’s cycles was an early development of astronomy: by the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers had recorded the 18-year Saros cycle of lunar eclipses,[154] and Indian astronomers had described the Moon’s monthly elongation.[155] The Chinese astronomer Shi Shen (fl. 4th century BC) gave instructions for predicting solar and lunar eclipses. Later, the physical form of the Moon and the cause of moonlight became understood. The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (d. 428 BC) reasoned that the Sun and Moon were both giant spherical rocks, and that the latter reflected the light of the former.[157] Although the Chinese of the Han Dynasty believed the Moon to be energy equated to qi, their ‘radiating influence’ theory also recognized that the light of the Moon was merely a reflection of the Sun, and Jing Fang (7837BC) noted the sphericity of the Moon. In the 2nd century AD Lucian wrote a novel where the heroes travel to the Moon, which is inhabited. In 499AD, the Indian astronomer Aryabhata mentioned in his Aryabhatiya that reflected sunlight is the cause of the shining of the Moon.[160] The astronomer and physicist Alhazen (9651039) found that sunlight was not reflected from the Moon like a mirror, but that light was emitted from every part of the Moon’s sunlit surface in all directions.[161]Shen Kuo (10311095) of the Song dynasty created an allegory equating the waxing and waning of the Moon to a round ball of reflective silver that, when doused with white powder and viewed from the side, would appear to be a crescent.

In Aristotle’s (384322BC) description of the universe, the Moon marked the boundary between the spheres of the mutable elements (earth, water, air and fire), and the imperishable stars of aether, an influential philosophy that would dominate for centuries.[163] However, in the 2nd century BC, Seleucus of Seleucia correctly theorized that tides were due to the attraction of the Moon, and that their height depends on the Moon’s position relative to the Sun.[164] In the same century, Aristarchus computed the size and distance of the Moon from Earth, obtaining a value of about twenty times the radius of Earth for the distance. These figures were greatly improved by Ptolemy (90168AD): his values of a mean distance of 59times Earth’s radius and a diameter of 0.292Earth diameters were close to the correct values of about 60 and 0.273 respectively.[165]Archimedes (287212 BC) designed a planetarium that could calculate the motions of the Moon and other objects in the Solar System.[166]

During the Middle Ages, before the invention of the telescope, the Moon was increasingly recognised as a sphere, though many believed that it was “perfectly smooth”.[167]

In 1609, Galileo Galilei drew one of the first telescopic drawings of the Moon in his book Sidereus Nuncius and noted that it was not smooth but had mountains and craters. Telescopic mapping of the Moon followed: later in the 17th century, the efforts of Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi led to the system of naming of lunar features in use today. The more exact 183436 Mappa Selenographica of Wilhelm Beer and Johann Heinrich Mdler, and their associated 1837 book Der Mond, the first trigonometrically accurate study of lunar features, included the heights of more than a thousand mountains, and introduced the study of the Moon at accuracies possible in earthly geography.[168] Lunar craters, first noted by Galileo, were thought to be volcanic until the 1870s proposal of Richard Proctor that they were formed by collisions.[58] This view gained support in 1892 from the experimentation of geologist Grove Karl Gilbert, and from comparative studies from 1920 to the 1940s,[169] leading to the development of lunar stratigraphy, which by the 1950s was becoming a new and growing branch of astrogeology.[58]

The Cold War-inspired Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. led to an acceleration of interest in exploration of the Moon. Once launchers had the necessary capabilities, these nations sent uncrewed probes on both flyby and impact/lander missions. Spacecraft from the Soviet Union’s Luna program were the first to accomplish a number of goals: following three unnamed, failed missions in 1958,[170] the first human-made object to escape Earth’s gravity and pass near the Moon was Luna 1; the first human-made object to impact the lunar surface was Luna 2, and the first photographs of the normally occluded far side of the Moon were made by Luna 3, all in 1959.

The first spacecraft to perform a successful lunar soft landing was Luna 9 and the first uncrewed vehicle to orbit the Moon was Luna 10, both in 1966.[58]Rock and soil samples were brought back to Earth by three Luna sample return missions (Luna 16 in 1970, Luna 20 in 1972, and Luna 24 in 1976), which returned 0.3kg total.[171] Two pioneering robotic rovers landed on the Moon in 1970 and 1973 as a part of Soviet Lunokhod programme.

The United States launched uncrewed probes to develop an understanding of the lunar surface for an eventual crewed landing: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ranger program produced the first close-up pictures; the Lunar Orbiter program produced maps of the entire Moon; the Surveyor program landed its first spacecraft four months after Luna 9. NASA’s crewed Apollo program was developed in parallel; after a series of uncrewed and crewed tests of the Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit, and spurred on by a potential Soviet lunar flight, in 1968 Apollo 8 made the first crewed mission to lunar orbit. The subsequent landing of the first humans on the Moon in 1969 is seen by many as the culmination of the Space Race.[172]

Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon as the commander of the American mission Apollo 11 by first setting foot on the Moon at 02:56UTC on 21 July 1969.[173] An estimated 500million people worldwide watched the transmission by the Apollo TV camera, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at that time.[174][175] The Apollo missions 11 to 17 (except Apollo 13, which aborted its planned lunar landing) returned 380.05 kilograms (837.87lb) of lunar rock and soil in 2,196 separate samples.[176] The American Moon landing and return was enabled by considerable technological advances in the early 1960s, in domains such as ablation chemistry, software engineering and atmospheric re-entry technology, and by highly competent management of the enormous technical undertaking.[177][178]

Scientific instrument packages were installed on the lunar surface during all the Apollo landings. Long-lived instrument stations, including heat flow probes, seismometers, and magnetometers, were installed at the Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 landing sites. Direct transmission of data to Earth concluded in late 1977 due to budgetary considerations,[179][180] but as the stations’ lunar laser ranging corner-cube retroreflector arrays are passive instruments, they are still being used. Ranging to the stations is routinely performed from Earth-based stations with an accuracy of a few centimetres, and data from this experiment are being used to place constraints on the size of the lunar core.[181]

After the first Moon race there were years of near quietude but starting in the 1990s, many more countries have become involved in direct exploration of the Moon. In 1990, Japan became the third country to place a spacecraft into lunar orbit with its Hiten spacecraft. The spacecraft released a smaller probe, Hagoromo, in lunar orbit, but the transmitter failed, preventing further scientific use of the mission.[182] In 1994, the U.S. sent the joint Defense Department/NASA spacecraft Clementine to lunar orbit. This mission obtained the first near-global topographic map of the Moon, and the first global multispectral images of the lunar surface.[183] This was followed in 1998 by the Lunar Prospector mission, whose instruments indicated the presence of excess hydrogen at the lunar poles, which is likely to have been caused by the presence of water ice in the upper few meters of the regolith within permanently shadowed craters.[184]

India, Japan, China, the United States, and the European Space Agency each sent lunar orbiters, especially ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 has contributed to confirming the discovery of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles and bound into the lunar regolith. The post-Apollo era has also seen two rover missions: the final Soviet Lunokhod mission in 1973, and China’s ongoing Chang’e 3 mission, which deployed its Yutu rover on 14 December 2013. The Moon remains, under the Outer Space Treaty, free to all nations to explore for peaceful purposes.

The European spacecraft SMART-1, the second ion-propelled spacecraft, was in lunar orbit from 15 November 2004 until its lunar impact on 3 September 2006, and made the first detailed survey of chemical elements on the lunar surface.[185]

China has pursued an ambitious program of lunar exploration, beginning with Chang’e 1, which successfully orbited the Moon from 5 November 2007 until its controlled lunar impact on 1 March 2009.[186] In its sixteen-month mission, it obtained a full image map of the Moon. China followed up this success with Chang’e 2 beginning in October 2010, which reached the Moon over twice as fast as Chang’e 1, mapped the Moon at a higher resolution over an eight-month period, then left lunar orbit in favor of an extended stay at the EarthSun L2 Lagrangian point, before finally performing a flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis on 13 December 2012, and then heading off into deep space. On 14 December 2013, Chang’e 3 improved upon its orbital mission predecessors by landing a lunar lander onto the Moon’s surface, which in turn deployed a lunar rover, named Yutu (Chinese: ; literally “Jade Rabbit”). In so doing, Chang’e 3 made the first lunar soft landing since Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar rover mission since Lunokhod 2 in 1973. China intends to launch another rover mission (Chang’e 4) before 2020, followed by a sample return mission (Chang’e 5) soon after.[187]

Between 4 October 2007 and 10 June 2009, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kaguya (Selene) mission, a lunar orbiter fitted with a high-definition video camera, and two small radio-transmitter satellites, obtained lunar geophysics data and took the first high-definition movies from beyond Earth orbit.[188][189] India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan I, orbited from 8 November 2008 until loss of contact on 27 August 2009, creating a high resolution chemical, mineralogical and photo-geological map of the lunar surface, and confirming the presence of water molecules in lunar soil.[190] The Indian Space Research Organisation planned to launch Chandrayaan II in 2013, which would have included a Russian robotic lunar rover.[191][192] However, the failure of Russia’s Fobos-Grunt mission has delayed this project.

The U.S. co-launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the LCROSS impactor and follow-up observation orbiter on 18 June 2009; LCROSS completed its mission by making a planned and widely observed impact in the crater Cabeus on 9 October 2009,[193] whereas LRO is currently in operation, obtaining precise lunar altimetry and high-resolution imagery. In November 2011, the LRO passed over the Aristarchus crater, which spans 40km (25mi) and sinks more than 3.5km (2.2mi) deep. The crater is one of the most visible ones from Earth. “The Aristarchus plateau is one of the most geologically diverse places on the Moon: a mysterious raised flat plateau, a giant rille carved by enormous outpourings of lava, fields of explosive volcanic ash, and all surrounded by massive flood basalts”, said Mark Robinson, principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera at Arizona State University. NASA released photos of the crater on 25 December 2011.[194]

Two NASA GRAIL spacecraft began orbiting the Moon around 1 January 2012,[195] on a mission to learn more about the Moon’s internal structure. NASA’s LADEE probe, designed to study the lunar exosphere, achieved orbit on 6 October 2013.

Upcoming lunar missions include Russia’s Luna-Glob: an uncrewed lander with a set of seismometers, and an orbiter based on its failed Martian Fobos-Grunt mission.[196][197] Privately funded lunar exploration has been promoted by the Google Lunar X Prize, announced 13 September 2007, which offers US$20million to anyone who can land a robotic rover on the Moon and meet other specified criteria.[198]Shackleton Energy Company is building a program to establish operations on the south pole of the Moon to harvest water and supply their Propellant Depots.[199]

NASA began to plan to resume crewed missions following the call by U.S. President George W. Bush on 14 January 2004 for a crewed mission to the Moon by 2019 and the construction of a lunar base by 2024.[200] The Constellation program was funded and construction and testing begun on a crewed spacecraft and launch vehicle,[201] and design studies for a lunar base.[202] However, that program has been cancelled in favor of a crewed asteroid landing by 2025 and a crewed Mars orbit by 2035.[203]India has also expressed its hope to send a crewed mission to the Moon by 2020.[204]

For many years, the Moon has been recognized as an excellent site for telescopes.[205] It is relatively nearby; astronomical seeing is not a concern; certain craters near the poles are permanently dark and cold, and thus especially useful for infrared telescopes; and radio telescopes on the far side would be shielded from the radio chatter of Earth.[206] The lunar soil, although it poses a problem for any moving parts of telescopes, can be mixed with carbon nanotubes and epoxies and employed in the construction of mirrors up to 50 meters in diameter.[207] A lunar zenith telescope can be made cheaply with ionic liquid.[208]

In April 1972, the Apollo 16 mission recorded various astronomical photos and spectra in ultraviolet with the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph.[209]

During the Cold War, the United States Army conducted a classified feasibility study in the late 1950s called Project Horizon, to construct a crewed military outpost on the Moon, which would have been home to a bombing system targeted at rivals on Earth. The study included the possibility of conducting a lunar-based nuclear test.[210] The Air Force, which at the time was in competition with the Army for a leading role in the space program, developed its own, similar plan called Lunex.[211][212] However, both these proposals were ultimately passed over as the space program was largely transferred from the military to the civilian agency NASA.[212]

Although Luna landers scattered pennants of the Soviet Union on the Moon, and U.S. flags were symbolically planted at their landing sites by the Apollo astronauts, no nation claims ownership of any part of the Moon’s surface.[213] Russia and the U.S. are party to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,[214] which defines the Moon and all outer space as the “province of all mankind”.[213] This treaty also restricts the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes, explicitly banning military installations and weapons of mass destruction.[215] The 1979 Moon Agreement was created to restrict the exploitation of the Moon’s resources by any single nation, but as of 2014, it has been signed and ratified by only 16 nations, none of which engages in self-launched human space exploration or has plans to do so.[216] Although several individuals have made claims to the Moon in whole or in part, none of these are considered credible.[217][218][219]

The Moon was often personified as a lunar deity in mythology and religion. A 5,000-year-old rock carving at Knowth, Ireland, may represent the Moon, which would be the earliest depiction discovered.[220] The contrast between the brighter highlands and the darker maria creates the patterns seen by different cultures as the Man in the Moon, the rabbit and the buffalo, among others. In many prehistoric and ancient cultures, the Moon was personified as a deity or other supernatural phenomenon, and astrological views of the Moon continue to be propagated today.

In the Ancient Near East, the moon god (Sin/Nanna) was masculine. In Greco-Roman mythology, Sun and Moon are represented as male and female, respectively (Helios/Sol and Selene/Luna). The crescent shape form an early time was used as a symbol representing the Moon. The Moon goddess Selene was represented as wearing a crescent on her headgear in an arrangement reminiscent of horns. The star and crescent arrangement also goes back to the Bronze Age, representing either the Sun and Moon, or the Moon and planet Venus, in combination. It came to represent the goddess Artemis or Hecate, and via the patronage of Hecate came to be used as a symbol of Byzantium.

An iconographic tradition of representing Sun and Moon with faces developed in the late medieval period.

The splitting of the moon (Arabic: ) is a miracle attributed to Muhammad.[221]

The Moon’s regular phases make it a very convenient timepiece, and the periods of its waxing and waning form the basis of many of the oldest calendars. Tally sticks, notched bones dating as far back as 2030,000 years ago, are believed by some to mark the phases of the Moon.[222][223][224] The ~30-day month is an approximation of the lunar cycle. The English noun month and its cognates in other Germanic languages stem from Proto-Germanic *mnth-, which is connected to the above-mentioned Proto-Germanic *mnn, indicating the usage of a lunar calendar among the Germanic peoples (Germanic calendar) prior to the adoption of a solar calendar.[225] The PIE root of moon, *mh1nt, derives from the PIE verbal root *meh1-, “to measure”, “indicat[ing] a functional conception of the moon, i.e. marker of the month” (cf. the English words measure and menstrual),[226][227][228] and echoing the Moon’s importance to many ancient cultures in measuring time (see Latin mensis and Ancient Greek (meis) or (mn), meaning “month”).[229][230][231][232] Most historical calendars are lunisolar. The 7th-century Islamic calendar is an exceptional example of a purely lunar calendar. Months are traditionally determined by the visual sighting of the hilal, or earliest crescent moon, over the horizon.[233]

The Moon has been the subject of many works of art and literature and the inspiration for countless others. It is a motif in the visual arts, the performing arts, poetry, prose and music.

The Moon has long been associated with insanity and irrationality; the words lunacy and lunatic (popular shortening loony) are derived from the Latin name for the Moon, Luna. Philosophers Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full moon induced insanity in susceptible individuals, believing that the brain, which is mostly water, must be affected by the Moon and its power over the tides, but the Moon’s gravity is too slight to affect any single person.[234] Even today, people who believe in a lunar effect claim that admissions to psychiatric hospitals, traffic accidents, homicides or suicides increase during a full moon, but dozens of studies invalidate these claims.[234][235][236][237][238]

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Moon – Wikipedia

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Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach – amazon.com

Posted: October 31, 2016 at 2:50 am

Stuart Russell was born in 1962 in Portsmouth, England. He received his B.A. with first-class honours in physics from Oxford University in 1982, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford in 1986. He then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where he is a professor of computer science, director of the Center for Intelligent Systems, and holder of the SmithZadeh Chair in Engineering. In 1990, he received the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation, and in 1995 he was cowinner of the Computers and Thought Award. He was a 1996 Miller Professor of the University of California and was appointed to a Chancellors Professorship in 2000. In 1998, he gave the Forsythe Memorial Lectures at Stanford University. He is a Fellow and former Executive Council member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has published over 100 papers on a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence. His other books include The Use of Knowledge in Analogy and Induction and (with Eric Wefald) Do the Right Thing: Studies in Limited Rationality.

Peter Norvig is currently Director of Research at Google, Inc., and was the director responsible for the core Web search algorithms from 2002 to 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery. Previously, he was head of the Computational Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center, where he oversaw NASAs research and development in artificial intelligence and robotics, and chief scientist at Junglee, where he helped develop one of the first Internet information extraction services. He received a B.S. in applied mathematics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley. He received the Distinguished Alumni and Engineering Innovation awards from Berkeley and the Exceptional Achievement Medal from NASA. He has been a professor at the University of Southern California and a research faculty member at Berkeley. His other books are Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp and Verbmobil: A Translation System for Faceto-Face Dialog and Intelligent Help Systems for UNIX.

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Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach – amazon.com

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