Shooting the moon

Tonight, NASA will crash a rocket into the moon — on purpose, of course. You can watch online and read all about it in my latest story:

The harvest moon–which came a couple weeks late this year, on Oct. 4–has long allowed farmers to gather their crops late into the night, using moonlight as a beacon.

Someday, the moon might yield a harvest of its own, thanks to a natural supply of water. A NASA probe is set to crash into the moon this week in search of that potential bounty. Here’s how you can watch it from here on Earth.

Salad with a side of danger

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Neither blowfish nor butter are as dangerous to your health as your salad Nicoise, according to a new report authored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Health foods like leafy greens, eggs and tuna top the list of the 10 riskiest foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

So does that mean we can ditch health food and start feeling good about ground beef? Probably not. But you should take extra caution when washing your produce, which, along with eggs and fish, are responsible for about 40 percent of all food-borne disease outbreaks, the CSPI says in a new study announced Tuesday.

“Outbreaks give the best evidence of where and when the food safety system is failing to protect the public,” said CSPI staff attorney Sarah Klein, the lead author of the report.

The study does not include beef, pork or poultry, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and which present plenty of peril on their own. But the FDA regulates 80 percent of the food supply, including produce, seafood, dairy products and most packaged goods like peanut butter.

Continue reading “Salad with a side of danger”

Putting Handymen to Shame

Who said the Hubble servicing mission would be hard? Two astronauts did in 3 hours what was supposed to take 5, and fixed one of the Hubble’s most important instruments, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph.

And they did it wearing the equivalent of boxing gloves, putting Earth-bound handymen everywhere to shame.

Now that it’s been spruced up, the STIS and its new partner, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, will help us understand what the universe is made of.

Read more about the COS.

Story links

Check out these links to my first freelance pieces for, the Web site of Popular Science magazine.

LCROSS, NASA’s Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite

Birth Control for Animals