How NASA’s Lunar Orbiter was Struck by a Meteoroid and Survived to Tell the Tale

On October 13, 2014, something rather…striking…happened to one of the cameras aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been imaging the Moon from lunar orbit since 2008. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), which normally produces beautifully clear images of the lunar surface, produced an image that was wild and jittery. From the sudden…

Is This New Picture of Earth From the Moon for Real? Yes, Yes It Is.

Today NASA released an amazing image of Earth taken from the Moon — specifically from lunar orbit by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying our Moon since the summer of 2009. In it our planet appears as an incredibly bright blue globe with swashes of white clouds and Africa and northeastern South America clearly visible…

What Do Lunar Phases Look Like From the Other Side of the Moon?

We’ve all seen the Moon go through its phases over the course of a month’s time (give or take a day or two) as it travels in its orbit around the Earth, and you may have even seen the cool animation from the NASA Goddard Visualization Studio showing an entire year’s worth of lunar phases….

What Made This Curious Cross Pattern on the Moon?

It’s not a trick of the light or camera sensor artifacts, there are actually geometric lines etched into the lunar surface in the image above, captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. But these aren’t the work of ancient aliens (or Richard Hoagland’s favorite Photoshop filters) —  they’re tracks left by the Soviet rover Lunokhod 2 during its…

Take a Tour of the Moon (and give a wink for Neil!)

In honor of International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) I invite you to see the Moon like never before, with this beautiful HD tour that takes you around our natural satellite as it’s seen by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. According to the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s David R. Kring, “The scenes in the video are…

Why It’s So Hard To Date a Crater

The 13-mile (21-km) wide Giordano Bruno crater on the Moon’s far side was recently imaged by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at an angle at a time when the setting sun cast long shadows, creating the high-relief image seen above. It’s known that the brightly-rayed crater is relatively young (see the video below) but how young?…

Hit The Slopes!

Things on the Moon don’t always stay put, as the tracks left by these large boulders show!

Ancient Ice Found in a Frigid Lunar Crater

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has found water ice lining a deep crater located on the Moon’s south pole — as much as 22% of the surface material of the crater appears to be composed of ice, NASA and university scientists report.

Annular Eclipse Seen From The Moon

The May 20 annular eclipse may have been an awesome sight for skywatchers across many parts of the Earth, but it was also being viewed by a robotic explorer around the Moon! During the event NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter turned its camera to look back home, acquiring several images of the Earth with the Moon’s…

Rolling Stones in the Lake of Death

No, it’s not the title of a B-movie starring Keith Richards, it’s an image of lunar boulders resting in a line within a valley on the Moon. This valley, located in the central peak of Bürg crater, is filled with boulders ranging up to 70 feet across that have rolled downhill from either side. The…

Granular Flows in a Copernican Crater

Sometimes flows of material on the Moon are made of light-colored material, sometimes they’re made of dark-colored material. This is definitely an example of the latter! This is a small portion of a Narrow-Angle Camera image taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing detail of “low-reflectance” granular material sliding down the wall of a crater…

Bounce and Flow

Dark flows run down the slopes of Stevinus A crater on the Moon in this detail of an image from the LRO’s camera. Large boulders that have rolled downhill appear to have interrupted the flow in at least one spot in this image. It’s still not exactly known whether these features in Stevinus A are…