February 23, 2008
Hanging with the Moon
image by Enrique Luque Cervigón, Spain
Most LPODs are dramatic images of single craters or regional views of interesting terrains. This one is meant for a different purpose and perhaps even a different audience. When I approved Enrique's image for the LPOD Photo Gallery yesterday I realized that it would make a great instructional guide for those beginning to learn their way around the Moon. So it is LPOD today with the hope that you will print it out and distribute copies to local schools, inquisitive kids, Scout troops or other youngsters who are interested in exploring the natural world, not just movies, music, and hanging. Challenge kids to see if they can identify any of these dark splotches using just their eyeballs. What about with binoculars? So what? Well, most of the places astronauts landed on the Moon were on the dark stuff, which is piles of lava flows that cover areas as large as a state. These flows are relatively smooth so they were the safest places to land a spaceship. And we can see them from Earth. Do you know what? Right now, today, there are two other spacecraft orbiting the Moon, taking pictures, measuring its topography and studying the chemistry of the rocks. Why? Because there is a new landrush going on, to get to the Moon to discover if there are resources - like water - that would allow people to live there and use it as a base to go to Mars. Oh yeah, the spacecraft circling the Moon were launched from China and Japan - and India and the US are launching space probes this year to the Moon. In ten years some of these countries will be getting ready to send people on the Moon. What will you be doing in ten years?
Skywatcher reflector 130/900 + Praktica camera digiscoping.
Howards eclipse poster
Howard's phases poster
Anthony's apogee-perigee poster
Yesterday's LPOD: Greek Fire
Tomorrow's LPOD: Eleven More Domes
1) A great and educational image. The compass on the top left side remarks an oddly issue, the Mare Orientale is on the West. A curious mind would ask the reason for that. :-)
Paco Bellido (Spain)
2) Paco - Lets hope that modern kids would recognize the oddity of Orientale being in the west... When they do, the Moon-Wiki has the explanation: IAU directions