NASA | LRO’s Diviner Takes the Moon’s Temperature During Dec. 10, 2011 Eclipse

By | December 3, 2019

[silence] [silence, followed by music] [music] Narrator: As the moon orbits the Earth, it occasionally passes through the Earth’s shadow, resulting in a spectacular change in the moon’s appearance for a short time. This event is called a lunar eclipse, and it happens at least twice a year, providing a rare show that’s worth staying awake for. But what would a lunar eclipse look like if you were on the moon? From that perspective, you would actually be viewing a solar eclipse, with the Earth blocking the Sun for a short period of time. The view would be spectacular, but there’s more to it than that. Having such a large-scale “lights out” on the moon gives scientists a unique opportunity to study the moon’s surface, and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is in a position to do just that. So, what exactly does LRO plan to study? When the Sun is obscured, the moon cools down, but not every area cools at the same rate. Rough areas of the moon, with large rocks and boulders, cool down more slowly than areas with fewer large rocks. By measuring the temperature of the moon as it cools, scientists can identify which areas are rougher than areas. Earth-based telescopes have been doing something like this for years, but they’re so far away that it’s hard to get a good view. LRO’s DIVINER instrument, on the other hand, can measure temperature at an extremely high resolution, giving scientists a first-ever up-close measurement of this kind. By taking these measurements, scientists can infer the size and density of moon rocks on a very small scale, teaching them new things about the moon’s surface. And while they might not be able to get a view of the solar eclipse from the moon, they’ll still get a look at the moon that’s just as exciting. [beeping] [beeping] [silence] [silence]

19 thoughts on “NASA | LRO’s Diviner Takes the Moon’s Temperature During Dec. 10, 2011 Eclipse

  1. BahoUtot Post author

    while it is there for the lunar event why dont they give the little guy a break for once and let it enjoy the solar eclipse

  2. ThamelasStormrage Post author

    We used to put men on the moon. Now we send toys. NASA has gone to shit.

  3. Gonçalo Aguiar Post author

    @ThamelasStormrage They're even sending toys to spy on other countries…

  4. Iron Golem Post author

    Perhaps some rocks are only the tip of a boulder or mountain of volcanic rock. or a near intact meteor. Interesting to find out.

  5. Trebor Post author

    Yep, for two reasons. One they can get to see the same areas with the sun at many different angles giving a good idea of the topography.
    And two; it means they can spot new craters as they form.

  6. John Smith Post author

    Did it only make one pass, or did it scan the whole moon?

  7. Sushila Waghade Post author

    I like studing about astronomy.। 🙂

  8. Steve Alvarez Post author

    NASA seems to forget that men were on the moon in those extreme temperatures 50 years ago. How is it that they are saying scientists can do these measurements for the FIRST time. Are they confirming that landing on the moon was a hoax?

  9. Yabba Dabba Post author

    I see Kubrick Studio's is still hard at work producing classic works of fiction. All Hail Stan.


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