Feeds

NASA unveils eye-popping molten moon and luna tour videos

Flyover and formation history of our celestial companion

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.