Wednesday, June 13, 2012

23-days old Moon Tour

23 day old moon

23 day old moon annotated

Identified by eye using a moon map.

Up there you have Sinus Iridium, Latin for 'Bay of Rainbows'. Makes you wanna build a seaview apartment there, eh? It does face a sea, but a sea with no water - a 'mare', and in this case it faces the lunar sea Mare Imbrium.

Go down and you can see Copernicus Crater, a crater estimated to be form 800 million years ago. It is not shown here but nearing the Full Moon phases you can see that it displays a prominent ray system that makes the Full Moon looks like a watermelon. :P

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Example of the ray systems at work.

Apollo 12 is the first manned spacecraft to rendezvous with a lunar rover - Surveyor 3. And yeah, they are the ones who found some bacteria on the lunar rover, thought it was aliens at first but later found out that its some flu germs that someone sneezed on during assembly of the rover.

Apollo 13, the ill-fated mission was supposed to go to the Fra Mauro Highlands. Apollo 14 did the job instead, sampling the lunar soil there which helped determine the time of the impact that caused it and eventually the age of the Moon.

Craters are abound in the southern hemisphere. You can see that Clavius Crater features a small impact on top of a larger impact crater. Geologists use this to deduce the age of the impact craters - surely the larger one came earlier than the younger one!

Bullialdus crater features a sharp pointy edge at the centre of the crater (if your eyes are sharp enough). This tells of the process of the impact basin formation and the viscosity of the lunar magma at the time of impact, a certain moment in the Moon’s history. If the lunar magma is too liquid at the time of impact it won't form such a crater!

For more details go to : http://www.lpi.usra.edu/nlsi/education/hsResearch/crateringLab/lab/part1/background/

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