Our only natural satellite is a quarter of an Earth-diameter
across, and thirty Earth-diameters away. It is made up of the same sort
of material as the Earth, but it lacks a hefty iron core, so the Moon
probably formed when a large planetoid struck the Earth and blew off a
large amount of material four billion years ago.|
In the top image (a mosaic of 9 frames), the Moon is six days old and about 40% illuminated. You can tell that sunlight is coming from the right, leaving the left side of the Moon in darkness (and that's all there is to the phases of the Moon; you are not seeing the Earth's shadow!).
Clicking on the top image at left will download a 1 megabyte version. The Full Resolution can be viewed here.
The bottom image is a high resolution mosaic of 6 frames that goes along the terminator of a 22 day-old moon less than a week before new moon). Be aware that the full resolution JPEG is around 4MB. The display was optimized for the region along the terminator. The smallest features are about a kilometer in size. Have fun walking on the moon.
Minimum credit line: (Top Image) Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Minimum credit line: (Bottom Image) Jeff and Paul Neumann/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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