Too cool: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has imaged the Apollo moon landing sites. You can see the lunar module, its shadow, and the scientific instrument packages.
What really impresses me are the foot paths. See that smear? That's the path of Al Shepard and Ed Mitchell, when they walked on the moon. I wonder how long those paths will last.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Activist (and astronomer) Frank Kameny was honored at a White House ceremony as part of Pride month.
The U.S. government officially apologized to Dr. Kameny, who was fired by the United States Civil Service Commission 52 years ago because of his sexual orientation.
"With the fervent passion of a true patriot, you did not resign yourself to your fate or quietly endure this wrong," said John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management. "With courage and strength, you fought back. And so today, I am writing to advise you that this policy, which was at odds with the bedrock principles underlying the merit-based civil service, has been repudiated by the United States Government, due in large part to your determination and life's work, and to the thousands of Americans whose advocacy your words have inspired."
Dr. Kameny was instrumental in getting homosexuality dropped from the manual of mental disorders used by American psychiatrists. He also fought a long battle with the US government over the denial of security clearances to gay people, a battle finally won under the Clinton administration.
He was also a professional astronomer, until he was thrown out of the Army Map Service. Here's his publication list on ADS. As a professional astronomer and a lesbian, I'm grateful to Dr. Kameny and the other pioneers for making it possible for folks like me to live openly.
Just wrote my US Rep. to demand a full inquiry into the murder of sailor August Provost at Camp Pendleton, CA last week.
Seaman Provost was murdered while on guard duty. He was 29, gay, partnered, and 3 years into a college education as an engineer.
At present, the Navy does not consider this a hate crime. Several members of Congress are calling for a Congressional inquiry into his death, or are calling on the Pentagon to investigate the murder as a possible hate crime. Please ask your US Rep to join them.