Friday, October 19, 2012

Moon Magic!

Why are people so interested in the Moon? One astronaut who went there, Frank Borman, seemed very unimpressed: "It's a vast, lonely... expanse of nothing." Another Apollo astronaut, William Anders, said: "It's all beat up... just a lot of bumps and holes." But look at the Moon in the right way and you'll get a different picture. This image was made using 30 different pictures from the
Galileo spacecraft, exactly 20 years ago. The red areas are the lunar highlands, while the orange and blue bits are the mares (lunar "seas"). The very blue area on the right is Mare Tranquillitatis (the Sea of Tranquility) where the first Apollo astronauts landed in 1969. It's super-rich in valuable titanium - a material from which we make airplanes, toothpaste, and false teeth (among other things). Maybe next time we go to the Moon, it'll be with the intention of mining valuable minerals and bringing them back home to Earth?

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