Monday, July 26, 2010

Moon and Stars.

Moon and Stars.

The obvious crater with

rays beaming from it in the

south is Tycho and the dark

areas are the maria

(singular mare).

Mare means sea: early

telescopic observers,

including Galileo,speculated

that the dark, smoother

areas were bodies of water

and gave them water body names. The maria are actually basalt

rock from massive lava flows ending circa 2 gigayears ago. In a

sense the maria are seas of frozen rock filling giant basins.

Before the telescope, various images were thought to be seen on the

Moon's surface. The most common were the "Man in the Moon'' (i.e.,

a man's face) in Europe and the Rabbit in parts of Asia and the

Americas. I can sort of see the Rabbit actually.

Apollo 11 landed in Mare Tranquillitatis (th eSea of Tranquility)

in 1969: this mare is left of the center line at a mid-latitude.

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