In honor of yesterday’s Super Moon.


by Albert Abarbanel, Ph.D.

A discussion of theories about how the moon’s cycle affects the rise and fall of sex desire.

The moon has always played a prominent part in people’s beliefs about sex. Primitive tribes conduct elaborate fertility rites when the moon is full. The peasants of southern Germany, southern France and Spain believe that the best time to conceive a child is during a crescent moon. Police chiefs alert their sex squads for trouble when the moon is full.


I’m pretty sure that if these existed, we’d have seen them by now.


Tiny moonlets, encircling our earth, might be used as jumping-off points for space travel.

By Stanley Carson

HOW many moons has the earth? If your answer is one, you may be wrong! Astronomers believe that there actually are one or several small satellites orbiting with tremendous speed between the earth and the moon.

If the predictions of our astronomers are correct, and there are a number of small moons circling the earth at short distances, then space travel may become a reality many more years sooner than is anticipated. For the moonlets which our government is now searching for can be used as ready-made stations in space.

Invasion Base on the Moon (Apr, 1948)

Invasion Base on the Moon

“The first nation to establish a lunar military outpost will rule the earth” says Willy Ley, expert in rocket research.

THE man in the moon may plot the attack that will open World War III. For the man in the moon will be a powerful “spy in the sky” rocketed to the earth’s satellite by the aggressor nation to prepare the way for an all-out assault to conquer the world.

Soon after a 20th-century Columbus pilots his rocket to the moon, the nation that sent him there will have a lunar base that will expose any spot on earth to celestial spying and sudden rocket invasion.

The Artificial Satellite as a Research Instrument (Nov, 1956)

The launches he explains in this article were a rousing success. Explorer 1, the first successful U.S. satellite launch discovered the Van Allen Belt. So I guess that worked out pretty well for him.

I love the idea of crowdsourcing the task of actually finding the satellite once its in orbit to an army of amateur astronomers.

The Artificial Satellite as a Research Instrument

Its pay load of 10 pounds will telemeter information about conditions at the edge of space. When its batteries have run down, we can still learn much by observing its flight

by James A. Van Allen

Most persons interested in space travel will be willing to wait until the second or third spaceship has made it to the moon and back before booking their reservations. The artificial earth satellites are another story. If all goes well, the first of them will be on orbit by early 1958, during the International Geophysical Year.

Getting a Line on the Aurora (Sep, 1931)

Getting a Line on the Aurora

ON A clear, moonless night a diffuse glow or a well-defined arch of pale pearly light is seen low over the northern horizon. Gradually the light grows brighter and presently long beams shoot up in great fan-like sheaves. In ghostly procession they shift back and forth across the sky.

Static from the Stars (Jan, 1948)

Static from the Stars

Because a radio ham heard strange sky noises, we may get better FM and television—and learn more about our universe.

By Herbert Yahraes

Drawings by Ray Pioch WHEN young Grote Reber was a high school sophomore, he operated 9GFZ in Wheaton, Ill., and tacked so many recognition—QSL—cards to his bedroom walls that the plaster cracked and his parents cracked down. When not communicating with El Paso, Arequipa, Capetown, Prague, and other points, he designed equipment to communicate with them even better. Nobody who knew him then will be surprised to learn that he is still in radio—listening not to the chatter of hams, but to mysterious and bothersome radio waves that come from the heart of the Milky Way.

New Planets to Be Discover (Jan, 1932)

New Planets to Be Discovered

Detectives of the skies, as we may call astronomers, cover huge distances in pursuit of the disturbers of the solar system. On paper, they track planets yet unseen through billions of miles of empty space, until the fugitive can finally be “put on the spot” with the cross-hairs of a huge telescope, or on the sensitive surface of a photographic plate.

When the Moon Comes Down (Feb, 1936)

When the Moon Comes Down

ASTRONOMERS like to scare their hearers from time to time, like the old-fashioned nurse telling children about ogres, with pictures of the end of the world. It may be burnt up by the exploding sun, or frozen by the sun’s extinction (though the latter is less probable); it may lose all its air by radiation into space, and chemical absorption into the earth. But, at the close, the audience is reassured that their fear of its happening in a million years is baseless—that the earth has at least ten million years of existence ahead—and they go away relieved.

Star Smaller Than the Earth (Apr, 1936)

I presume this article is talking about a neutron star, the idea of which was only about two years old at this point. Neutrons had only been discovered four years previously, in 1932.

However, since the first neutron star wasn’t discovered until 1965, it would seem that Kuiper was wrong. And yes, he is the person the Kuiper Belt is named after.

Update: As Jari points out in the comments, he was probably talking about a white dwarf star, not a neutron star. You’d think after listening to 200+ episodes of Astronomy Cast I’d have known better. It does, however, give me a chance to plug my favorite podcast, so that’s a plus.

Star Smaller Than the Earth

AFTER centuries in which they thought the Sun a very small body (one early scientist was banished for estimating it to be a hundred miles across) men reconciled themselves to the fact that it is more than a million times the size of the Earth. And the further shocking fact became apparent, that there are stars a million times larger (in volume) than the Sun. It is therefore somewhat reassuring to our pride that a star has been found, by Dr. Kuiper of Harvard, which he calculates to be smaller than

Armored Camera Survives V-2 Flight, Photographs Earth at 65-Mile Height (Feb, 1947)

Last year a group of high school students in Girona Spain launched a camera carrying balloon to over 19 miles in altitude, and got much better pictures.

The headline implies that the rocket went to a height of 65 miles, but the text says “65-mile flight” which is not exactly the same thing.

Armored Camera Survives V-2 Flight, Photographs Earth at 65-Mile Height

A motion-picture record of the 65-mile flight of a V-2 rocket launched in New Mexico, was produced by a standard American-made DeVry 35-mm camera. The camera was mounted in the midsection of the V-2 and aimed at an angle of 16-1/2 degrees to the axis of the rocket.