June 8, 2023
A Modest Proposal
Originally published May 24, 2013
image by Mike WirthsBaja California, Mexico (for now)
Very, very few nations of the world have launched successful spacecraft to orbit and image the Moon. When considering absolutely stunning images, really only the US Lunar Orbiter, Apollo and LRO programs, and the Japanese Kaguya HDTV and Terrain Camera completely satisfy that challenge. A half a handful of other nations have imaged the Moon from orbit but so few of the images have been released that they have made little impact. And of course, every one of the other 190-some countries would like the prestige and technology development achievement of flying a lunar orbiter. But it is expensive and requires skills and expertise that are hard to develop independently. So I propose an alternative that could allow many countries the pride of lunar exploration: Hire Mike and his spacecraft-equivalent telescope to create a national lunar imagery collection. As this example, no doubt from a forth-coming prospectus, demonstrates, absolutely amazing images, of great dramatic quality and scientific value could be acquired. Mike could create a unique collection for each nation, something that their citizens could admire and brag about. As I understand it Mike is available to spend 3-6 months, depending on seeing, on tall peaks in any nation that will pay for his temporary relocation and upkeep. In fact, I've heard that an elderly lunar scientist would consent, with similar remuneration - but only in tropical countries with excellent food - to write scientific and historical interpetations of the images, tying them to national folklore. But wait, there is more. For an additional minor consideration, some lunar features can be renamed for national worthies - just don't tell the IAU. But hurry, the line of countries anxious for faux lunar orbiter collections is rapidly lengthening. Just make sure you get the real faux collection, not one from copycat image manipulators who don't even own a virtual orbiter.
May 18, 2013. Starmaster 18" (Zambuto optics), ASI120MM camera, 2.5X's powermate barlow, R/IR filter, Firecapture, and PS CS, topaz infocus.
Rükl plate 3
21st Century Atlas chart 19.
Yesterday's LPOD: Another Go At Scheiner
Tomorrow's LPOD: Reincartonation