Moon’scapes

There’s no denying that it’s been a rough week for many Earthlings.

On the other hand, it’s been a great week for anyone who spends their time more preoccupied with the Moon than with more earthly concerns.

That’s because there’s a treasure trove of news about our lunar realm.

For example, NASA’s Goddard Media Studios released this stunning 4K video that used data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to generate a visualization of what the Apollo 13 astronauts would have seen between the time that they came around from the dark side of the Moon and when they reestablished radio contact with Mission Control.


If you have ever seen the movie Apollo 13, then you appreciate why this particular time frame was so poignant. If you have never seen it, then I highly recommend that you do!

Of course, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is no longer our only source of imagery from the far side of the Moon because China landed their Chang’e-4 spacecraft and Yutu-2 rover there last year, and they’re still there working away. The Chang’e-4’s mission team celebrated the anniversary of their success by releasing some data and images to the public, and then this week Seeker published this video about both the images and the mission.

You can find out more about Chang’e-4’s moonscapes in this article.
The most detailed photos yet of the far side of the moon (Neel V. Patel, Technology Review)

In addition, hot off the press, the Yutu-2 rover’s radar scanned up to 40 meters below the surface of the Moon, and those findings were just published this week as well.
China’s Moon Rover Takes a Deeper Look at the Far Side (Jonathan O’Callaghan, Scientific American)
Digging into the far side of the moon: Chang’E-4 probes 40 meters into lunar surface (Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters, AAAS EurekAlert)
The Moon’s farside shallow subsurface structure unveiled by Chang’E-4 Lunar Penetrating Radar (Chunlai Li, et al. Science Advances)

So, what a great week for Moon lovers!

Finally, it’s Friday, so a bit of fun is in order — check out this 360° video that shows a “different” way of seeing a (fictional) moonscape.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief stint as a “Moonling.”

If you want more Moon’scapes, then head on over to NASA and Google.

Happy Friday, Stay Healthy & Have a Great Leap Day!

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