skytalk

“And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes . . .”


Penn State Astronomers figure out why near side and far side of the moon are so different – front side, maria: large smooth areas we call ‘seas’; they make the eyes of “the man in the moon”. When moon was formed, the two became tidally locked and the Earth-facing side stayed warmer. Back side cooled faster, so that meteors crashing on the earth side could more easily punch through the upper surface allowing molten basaltic lava to come through because it stayed warmer longer. Backside was far more resistant to punch-through because it solidified earlier. So no big smooth areas of lava-flooded craters on the back side. Venus and the moon together tomorrow morning 4:30 to 5am. They rise together at 3:45. Sky is too bright to see by 5:30.



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