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.

Atomic Time

Earlier today, I took a morning-long tour of the facility that broadcasts the atomic time to clocks across America. The time is accurate to one oscillation of a cesium atom — something like 9 trillion oscillations equals one second.

It’s on a 360-acre site northeast of Fort Collins. The the huge towers that hoist the cabled antenna arrays are hard to miss from Interstate 25.

When you buy an atomic clock — actually, it’s a radio-controlled clock that calibrates to the atomic time standard — you should turn it in the direction of Fort Collins to get the best signal. Who knew?

Just one of many many unique contributions to the world of science here in the Choice City.