A few hours before last week’s lunar eclipse started here in the States, the phenomenal astrophotographer (and frequent BA Blog photo contributor) Thierry Legault was in Normandy, France, and got a magnificent picture of a different sort of transit involving the Moon.
Four American astronauts blast off from the New Mexico desert and fly to the Moon. They land after difficulties that cause more fuel to be used than anticipated. Consequently, the crew must race against time to lighten the ship for a successful return to Earth.
As records have resurfaced, enthusiasts working from an abandoned McDonald's have begun restoring famous images of the moon made by the 1960s Lunar Orbiter spacecraft in unprecedented detail.
Summer was approaching in the Northern Hemisphere on June 12, 2010, when the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter looked home to acquire this image. In orbit around the Moon, the orbiter was about 372,335 kilometers from Earth.
That dry, dusty moon overhead? Seems it isn't quite as dry as it's long been thought to be. Although you won't find oceans, lakes, or even a shallow puddle on its surface, a team of geologists has found structurally bound hydroxyl groups in a mineral in a lunar rock returned to Earth.