Monday, April 04, 2011

Flying Saucers And Beethoven

Their view is based on the unexpected revelation that microscopic particles become statically charged and levitated above the lunar surface, particularly at times near local sunrise and sunset. (No one knows why this happens, but it does.)

Once lofted, these ultrafine particles can be moved around by electric fields created within the localized magnetic bubbles, lateral shuffling that removes dust in some places and deposits it in others. The dusty topcoat would have to be at least a foot thick, based on calculations just published in Icarus. But they can't be thicker than about 30 feet (10 m), notes Garrick-Bethell, because the swirls' bright lanes show no vertical relief in low-Sun-angle images.

The design for the saucers was based mostly on what people expected. My research had covered all the concepts, some of which looked too earthly, for example portholes, which didn’t seem right. My solution was to make the exteriors of the saucers as smooth as possible, although I did include three semi-circular bumps beneath the lip of the saucers. Aside from their ‘authenticity,’ being based on photos, they also broke up the smooth design of the spacecraft and served as anchors for the overhead wires that suspended the miniatures in front of the rear-projected live-action plates. Prior to magnetic tape, most recordings were made on wire, so when tape came in, I found myself with loads of this old recording wire, which I utilized for aerial shots. Whenever I look at the film I wonder if the saucer is being supported by an aria from La Bohème or perhaps something from Beethoven!

On the Moon dust can rise like a low mist
lifted by electrostatic charges
interacting with magnetic field lines.

The dust will scatter sunlight when the Sun
is rising or setting, a dawn or dusk
made from rock dust rather than atmosphere.

Maybe the dust dances when the Sun shines
and we talk about electric charges
because that’s what our dance has come to here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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