Secret In The Sky

Round and round the Earth it goes, who or what it’s spying on very few people know.

Delta 4 rocket successfully lofts surveillance satellite

A Delta 4 rocket made a thunderous departure from California on Tuesday afternoon, only to slip into a news blackout minutes later while it climbed higher and faster to deploy a classified spy satellite, a success-defining milestone that was confirmed by hobbyist observers.

The United Launch Alliance-made booster roared away from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:12:57 p.m. local (7:12:57 p.m. EDT; 2312:57 GMT) on a southwesterly course to reach a retrograde orbit inclined 123 degrees relative to the equator.

. . .

The hush-hush nature for the rest of flight is all part of launching covert payloads for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, the secretive agency that operates the country’s fleet of spy satellites. The NRO does not disclose the purpose of its spacecraft being sent up on each launch, saying only that the flight was called the NROL-25 mission.

See also:
Rocket Launches Secret Spy Satellite for US Military
United Launch Alliance Delta IV Rocket Successfully Launches Payload for the National Reconnaissance Office
United Launch Alliance Delta IV Rocket Successfully Launches Payload for the National Reconnaissance Office
US launches new spy satellite NROL-25
Delta 4 lifts off
Spy satellite-carrying rocket blasts off
U.S. rocket carrying classified payload launches
ULA Successfully Launches Delta IV Rocket
Rocket carrying classified payload launches from California’s central coast
Rocket launch includes key parts from Utah’s ATK sites
List of NRO Launches
National Reconnaissance OfficeNational Reconnaissance Office

According to the listed launch designation, NROL-25 is a radar imaging satellite operating in a retrograde low Earth orbit.

/if I had to guess what it’s looking at, I’d guess Iran

Attack Of The Lobate Scarps

Evil lobate scarps are shrinking the moon, run for your lives!

The Moon Has Shrunk, and May Still Be Contracting

The moon has been shrinking, suggest scientists who spotted relatively young geological features that form when a planetary body cools and contracts.

Called lobate scarps, the features are made when land on one side of a geologic fault line is thrust upward, creating a slanting wall that can be several hundred feet high and several miles long.

“If you were walking up to one of these landforms, you would see basically what looks like a stair-step in the landscape,” said study co-author Thomas Watters of the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

“It would be steep in the front on the scarp face itself and then gently sloping on the backside.”

The Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions photographed about 70 lobate scarps near the moon’s equator. (Read the original National Geographic magazine coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.)

But NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter found 14 more scarps in several, widespread locations, suggesting the thrust faults are globally distributed across the moon’s surface. (See some of the first moon pictures from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.)

Watters and colleagues think the scarps formed as the inside of the moon cooled from its original, molten state.

“As the interior cools, it contracts, and the crust of the moon has to adjust to the reduced volume,” Watters said. “That causes this breaking of the crust into these small faults.” Lobate scarps form when the contracting crust puts pressure along the fault planes.

See also:
The Incredible Shrinking Moon
The Moon Is Shrinking
New images indicate moon may be shrinking
Images Show A Shrinking Moon
Over a Billion Years, Scientists Find, the Moon Went Through a Shrinking Phase
The moon is shrinking, a tiny bit
The Moon is shrinking, says astronomers
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Obviously, this Moon shrinkage was caused by anthropogenic global warming on Earth.

/or those damn, racist Tea Party Teabaggers, take your pick