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New NASA Videos Reveal Moon’s Evolution

March 16, 2012 by staff 

New NASA Videos Reveal Moon’s Evolution, Two new NASA videos use the latest close-up imagery of the moon from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to reveal Earth’s natural satellite in a whole new light.

One video zooms over the moon to reveal its most prominent features. Imagery from the spacecraft shows these lunar highlights in high-resolution detail, revealing deep craters, towering mountains, and even leftover equipment at the NASA’s Apollo moon landing sites.

This narrated “best-of” tour of the moon includes photos of Orientale Basin, Shackleton crater, South Pole-Aitken Basin, Tycho crater, Aristarchus Plateau, Mare Serenitatis, Compton-Belkovich volcano, Jackson crater and Tsiolkovsky crater.

The second video uses Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photos to animate the history of the moon from its formation around 4.5 billion years ago through today.

Both videos were created by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Md., in honor of the probe’s 1,000th day in orbit. LRO was launched June 18, 2009, from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The moon is thought to have been created when a large space rock slammed into Earth and broke off a chunk of our planet. This collision was so powerful it would have melted rock, leaving the moon a hot, liquid blob for its early years. As this molten magma melted over time, the lunar crust formed.

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