Tagged: Moon

The Soviet Lunokhod Rovers

Although the United States roved the Moon first on manned missions, the Soviet Union was the first nation to robotically rove around the lunar surface with the twin Lunokhod rovers in the early 1970s.

Io’s surface: under construction

Like the downtown area of your favorite city and any self-respecting web site … Io’s surface is constantly under construction. This moon of Jupiter holds the distinction of being the Solar System’s most volcanically active body — its bizarre looking surface continuously formed and reformed by lava flows.

Saturn, Titan, Rings, and Haze

This is not a solar eclipse. Pictured above is a busy vista of moons and rings taken at Saturn. The large circular object in the center of the image is Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and one of the most intriguing objects in the entire Solar System. The dark spot in the center is the main solid part of the moon. The bright surrounding ring is atmospheric haze above Titan, gas that is scattering sunlight to a camera operating onboard the robotic Cassini spacecraft.

Moonrise over the Temple of Poseidon

The photo above captures the full Moon rising over the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, Greece. The Moon appears to be made out of the same rock as the marble temple itself. When compared to marble the basaltic lava of the lunar surface is a darker material. Even though the Moon looks quite bright, especially when it’s high in the sky, its albedo is low. Only about 12 percent of the sunlight that illuminates the Moon is reflected — nearly the same as old asphalt. Nonetheless, its regolith is about as bright as other planetary bodies without an atmosphere. Photo taken on May 25, 2013.

The mystery of the missing waves on Titan

Saturn’s giant moon Titan is dotted with hydrocarbon lakes and seas that bear an uncanny resemblance to bodies of water on Earth. Strangely, though, Titan’s lakes and seas have no waves.

The Moon from Zond 8

Which moon is this? Earth’s. Our Moon’s unfamiliar appearance is due partly to an unfamiliar viewing angle as captured by a little-known spacecraft — the Soviet Union’s Zond 8 that circled the Moon in October of 1970.