Sunday, July 21, 2013
Outside Experience And Gravity Fields
Brinkley: "Was there anything about your Moon walk and collecting of rocks and the like that surprised you at that time when you were on the Moon, like, 'I did not expect to encounter this,' or, 'I did not expect it to look like this'? Or included in that, the view of the rest of space from the Moon must have been quite an awesome thing to experience."
Armstrong: "I was surprised by a number of things, and I'm not sure (I can) recall them all now. I was surprised by the apparent closeness of the horizon. I was surprised by the trajectory of dust that you kicked up with your boot, and I was surprised that even though logic would have told me that there shouldn't be any, there was no dust when you kicked. You never had a cloud of dust there. That's a product of having an atmosphere, and when you don't have an atmosphere, you don't have any clouds of dust."
To clarify Neil's observation, on Earth, small particles don't travel very far due to air drag. Collectively, the particles kicked off the surface will stir the air it travels through, forming a dust cloud. Particles in the cloud will fall only slowly, and the cloud will last long enough to move with any breeze that is present. On the airless moon, each particle follows a ballistic trajectory. They don't form a cloud but, rather a sheet of individual particle all moving outward at about the same speed.
Armstrong - "I was absolutely dumbfounded when I shut the rocket engine off and the particles that were going out radially from the bottom of the engine fell all the way out over the horizon, and when I shut the engine off, they just raced out over the horizon and instantaneously disappeared, you know, just like it had been shut off for a week. That was remarkable. I'd never seen that. I'd never seen anything like that. And logic says, yes, that's the way it ought to be there, but I hadn't thought about it and I was surprised."
Lots of stuff outside our immediate experience is counter- or non-intuitive. Things operate a certain way on Earth with its 1g and atmosphere, but should not on the Moon, at 1/6g with no air. Like dropping a feather and something heavy.
That's probably a lesson you could also apply to how people of various races, genders and/or sexes experience society...
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