Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recent Geological Activity on the Moon [HD]

We have an incredible fascination with our moon, since the beginning of mankind this fascination had existed and rightfully so because our moon has a far greater impact on our daily lives than we’ve ever realized before.

Myths, magic and fairy tales. Some to make you fear the full moon and its effects, going insane or the lunatics are restless during the full moon. We can easily imagine the howl of the wolf under the moonlight and some stories to make you want to dance and love under the moon.

Since long before the birth of human kind the moon has been the earth’s constant companion but until relatively recently we’ve known little of its true nature or even how it was created.

The moon – an eighty one million billion-ton lump of rock and dust, more than 210 000 miles in diameter, orbiting almost a quarter million miles above our heads. It is the second brightest object in our skies, with temperatures ranging from 250° down to minus 380° and lower. Its gravity is a 6th of that of earth, mountains soar to 16 000 feet and millions of craters litter the dusty dry surface where no liquid water has ever been found. This is not a hospital place and yet, we associate the moon with romance and mystery. The man in the moon enraptures all, all over the world and feeds our hunger for supernatural myths and legends.

There are several competing theories, one suggests that the moon is merely an asteroid orbiting our planet trapped by the earth’s gravity. Another ascribes the creation to a giant impact on our earth ejecting masses of material that formed the moon. Clues as to which theories were most likely to be correct came when men first landed on the moon and started unlocking its secrets of creation buried within the lunar rocks. Between 1969 and 1972, six missions blasted off to the moon. (Only 12 humans have ever walked on the moon). Only lately have scientists detected that we had in fact once two moons which collided and became one.

Now the in-depth study to further understand the makings of our moon has begun when “Ebb” and “Flow” was launched to orbit the moon.

Now new images acquired by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft show that the moon's crust is being slightly stretched, forming small valleys - at least in some small areas. High-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) provide evidence that these valleys are very young, suggesting the moon has experienced relatively recent geologic activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment