Friday, June 29, 2012
9 days old Moon Tour!
The Moon is 9 days old today! Many interesting features to observe from the telescope!
First off is this very special crater. It is a very old crater bombarded with many smaller ‘craterlets’. There is a total of 21 craterlets recognized and given numbers according to their proximity to the main crater.
credits : http://www.perezmedia.net/beltofvenus/archives/000464.html
So, regarding to the number of craterlets on this crater, how old do you think this crater is? Theories says that it was formed 4 billion years ago during the Nectarian period (marked with an ‘N’ on the timescale) For more information of the periods, visit : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_geologic_timescale.
Copernicus is a very prominent crater in the 9-days old moon and exhibits a really dazzling ray system. Based on the timescale above, guess when was Copernicus formed? :) It was formed 800 million years ago, in the Copernican era that extends until today.
There is an interesting story behind the naming of the Copernicus crater. One Italian Jesuit named the prominent crater after Copernicus to show his opposition to the heliocentric solar system model advocated by Copernicus – as the crater is located in the Oceanus Procellarum (Sea of storms), he said that he ‘flung Copernicus into the Sea of Storms’. What was his true intent? To really throw Copernicus into the lunar sea of storms, or actually enshrine Copernicus’s name on one of the most prominent craters on the Moon?
Landing of the Apollo 15 and the very first ‘Mythbusters’ episode (confirmed)
Apollo 15 was the first mission to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), the famous buggy that ran on the moon. It was also the first lunar mission to not land on a Mare but near the hills at Hadley Rille. Effieciency was greatly increased with the use of the LRV and many lunar rocks from many craters were sampled and brought back to Earth.
In this mission, astronaut David R.Scott also demonstrated a classical experiment theorised by Galileo, dropping a feather and a hammer at the same time and see if they would land simultaneously. Of course, they landed at the same time due to the lack of air resistance on the lunar surface!