Credit: LRO, Arizona State U., NASA
Explanation: No one, presently, sees the Moon rotate like this. That’s because the Earth’s moon is tidally locked to the Earth, showing us only one side. Given modern digital technology, however, combined with many detailed images returned by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a high resolution virtual Moon rotation movie has now been composed. The above time-lapse video starts with the standard Earth view of the Moon. Quickly, though, Mare Orientale, a large crater with a dark center that is difficult to see from the Earth, rotates into view just below the equator. From an entire lunar month condensed into 24 seconds, the video clearly shows that the Earth side of the Moon contains an abundance of dark lunar maria, while the lunar far side is dominated by bright lunar highlands. Two new missions are scheduled to begin exploring the Moon within the year, the first of which is NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). LADEE, which launched just over a week ago, is scheduled to begin orbiting the Moon in October and will explore the thin and unusual atmosphere of the Moon. In a few months, the Chinese Chang’e 3 is scheduled to launch, a mission that includes a soft lander that will dispatch a robotic rover.
There are currently three numbered sunspot groups on the solar disc. Solar activity is very low, with no C-class flares reported since September 06. The Earth is currently inside a slow solar wind flow with the speed of about 350 km/s.
The interplanetary magnetic field is stable with the magnitude of about 4 nT. The geomagnetic conditions are quiet and expected to remain so until the arrival of the fast speed stream in the following 24 hours.
INFO from Royal Observatory of Belgium
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