Feeds

NASA unveils eye-popping molten moon and luna tour videos

Flyover and formation history of our celestial companion

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NASA has released two videos to celebrate the 1,000th operational day of its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

The first vid, dubbed "Evolution of the Moon," traces the likely origin of the Moon, starting around 4.5 billion years ago when it is thought a chunk of Earth was knocked into orbit after a major collision. The Moon – the result of the collision – slowly cooled, then received a series of foreign object strikes of its own, including a massive impact on its south pole that formed the 2,500 km-wide South Pole-Aitken Basin.

The second video, "Tour of the Moon," shows a flyby of the lunar surface using data gleaned by the LRO. The narrated show covers the mapping of lunar craters and mountains, and gives views of human artifacts scattered across the Moon, but no black monoliths, sadly. Tycho crater – home of the fictional TMA-1 – does, however, have a mountain with a ballpark-sized rock perched on top.

The LRO was launched in 2009, in tandem with the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS,) and has been scanning the Moon's surface with seven different devices ever since. LCROSS was used to pile into the Moon itself, so that the impact debris could be studies for signs of free water on the lunar surface, but the LRO will remain in orbit as long as it is functional.

The long-term goal of the LRO is to map out future sites for human exploration. So far it has found tunnels that could be used for lunar colonies, possible frozen water deposits and even discovered that the Moon itself is shrinking. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.