back to article Magnificent Moon mountain sunrise caught on camera

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has captured a magnificent view (big version here) of sunrise over mountains in the centre of the Moon's Tycho crater: Sunrise over the Tycho crater's central mountains. Pic: NASA NASA explains: "A very popular target with amateur astronomers, Tycho is located at 43.37°S, 348.68°E, …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Somewhat better images

    than with my 8" scope.

    Brilliant stuff.

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  3. poohbear

    Elementary, my dear Watson

    The Greenwich Meridian must naturally run through New London ...

    Don't they teach geography in schools anymore?

    1. Dave 62


      you mean Lundon?


  4. NogginTheNog


    Doesn't stuff like this ("being a mere 110 million years old") make you feel ever-so-ever-so small sometimes?! In a good, humbling way, that is...

    1. Vic

      Re: Ephemeral

      > Doesn't stuff like this ("being a mere 110 million years old") make you feel

      > ever-so-ever-so small sometimes?

      Don't go anywhere enar small pieces of fairy cake if it does...


      [I seem to be having a HitchHiker day today...]

    2. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      re: ephemeral

      I can remember watching the Apollo expedition TV feeds as a young teenager and seeing all the magnificent stuff being discovered -- like the famous orange dirt on Apollo 17 -- and found myself sharing the astronauts' sense of wonder as they all commented on how it seemed that all this awesome stuff had been lying there for millions of years just waiting for us to find it.

  5. andy gibson

    Probably get flamed for this...

    But they look much more realistic than the rounded fake ones from the alleged moon landing.

    1. mark11727
      Thumb Up


      Got me to look. Good one.

  6. David Lawrence

    Are you sure it's that old??

    Surely the Creationists might have an issue with you saying it's that old. Do you have any proof? Surely the magic sky fairy made it, single-handedly, a bit more recently than that??

    Mine's the one with the 'atheist' badge on the back.....

    1. Ty Cobb

      What makes you think

      He can't make something pre-aged, you know like faded/ripped jeans?

  7. Andus McCoatover


    'nuff said.

  8. handle


    My first reaction was why weren't they using a colour camera? But then I realised the moon is very grey. Extremely grey - I opened the image in gimp, whacked up the saturation and it looked just as grey.

    Or maybe they weren't using a colour camera?

    1. Mike Flugennock

      re: monochrome

      I suspect LRO is shooting in grayscale.

      Check out some of the orbital and surface photography from the Apollo missions; depending on the lighting and the viewing angle, the color of the Moon varies from the usual slate gray to a warm charcoal gray to a pale chocolate brown.

  9. Adrian Esdaile


    Makes me want to go there even more.

  10. K. Adams

    Impact dynamics?

    Any geodynamics folk out there who can explain how the central peak is formed from an impact event?

    I had always presumed that the central peak was caused by a form of induced elastic compression and rebound generated by the tremendous forces in play, but the relevant Wikipedia article says otherwise:

    -- -- Wikipedia: Complex crater

    -- -- -- --

    and indicates the center cone (or cone ring, for very large impacts) are created by "a process in which a material with little or no strength attempts to return to a state of gravitational equilibrium."

    Anyone care to elaborate?

    1. Openminded Cynic

      Well I'm not a Geodynamicist but...

      I would assume the peak is what's left of whatever lump of rock impacted and caused the crater? It is only 110 million years old after all and hasn't had chance to be worn down yet.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        re: what caused the peak

        I'm not a geodynamicist either, but two questions asked at the LRO blog at are:

        "Were these distinctive outcrops formed as a result of crushing and deformation of the target rock as the peak grew? Or do they represent preexisting rock layers that were brought intact to the surface...?"

        I also seem to recall a theory involving volcanic activity caused by a rupturing of the crust in which the crust rebounds from the impact and causes a "backsplash" of lava which hardens in place, but the LRO blog doesn't mention it.

        Still in all, it's frickin' gorgeous.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Paris Hilton


      "Any geodynamics folk out there who can explain how the central peak is formed from an impact event?"

      Tut! Tut! Everybody know that the aliens that started intelligent life on earth left it that way after they buried the monolith, aka TMA-1, there.

      Paris, "The thing's hollow - it goes on forever – and - oh my God* - it's full of stars!"

      * whatever one you want

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moon facts

    There is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact, it's all dark.

    The only thing that makes it look light is the sun.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      re: moon facts

      Actually, Pink Floyd were at least partially right about there being no "dark side". The term "dark side" is actually a misnomer; the proper term, as taught to me by the Apollo crewmen, was "far side" -- that is, the side that's always turned away from Earth as it's "tidally locked" in position in its orbit, even though the Moon has a rotational cycle. The far side receives sunlight on a regular basis, but we just don't see it because it's always facing away from us, so the Moon isn't really "all dark".

      Sorry, Mr. Floyd.

    2. Mike Flugennock

      That's "far side", not "dark side"...

      As seen by the LRO:

      1. asiaseen

        More of a

        pimply backside

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: "far side" the *wrong* answer, but thanks for playing.

        Join us next time, won't you, here on the El Reg Pink Floyd lyrics quiz!

  12. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Up

    made of awesome!

    Among my shit-ton(ne) of space-related bookmarks is the LRO site, which I check regularly. I first saw these images there a couple of days ago and damn' near crapped my drawers at their sheer awesomeness. Yesterday, I saw they were picked up by the Bad Astronomy blog, where Phil Plait was in a similar state of pants-crapping delight. I especially enjoyed the close-up of the main central peak, and the small depression where a boulder was resting. I'd never seen the Tycho peaks in such detail and in a view such as the oblique sunrise view, and it totally knocked my lights out.

    No goddamn' wonder these are being blasted all over the place. They're made of awesome.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    There used to be a comic strip called 'The Far Side'

    It was good, but not as good as those pix.

  14. Mips

    You missed a bit...

    ... According to NASA the mountain in the centre of the crater is a piece off the meteorite that struck the earth and killed off the dinosaurs.

  15. Kiwi Guy

    Kiwi Guy

    The same detailed image but in all its 3D glory plus a brilliant 3D flyover video is available on Google Moon - fire up Google Earth, select Moon and search for Tycho. Damn I love Google Earth.

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