As part of NASA’s 60th anniversary celebration, this beautiful video pairs images of the moon captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter with Claude Debussy’s classic, Clair de Lune.

NASA was founded in 1958 by an act of Congress, the National Aeronautics and Space Act. Celebrating 60 years since its founding and 50 years of the Apollo missions, a series of events has been scheduled throughout 2018. Highlighting the achievements of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, this video was presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

(If you think these images of the moon are impressive, check out what NASA plans to do with the sun.)

Mapping the Moon

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched In June, 2009. Along with identifying new impact craters (less than 5 years old!) and the coldest spots measured in the solar system (in the shadowed polar regions), this orbiter obtained the first radar measurements of the lunar farside. One of its initial goals, however, was to map the moon’s surface ”like never before”. It achieved its mapping mission in just over a year, capturing images across all times and seasons.

The video appropriately matches a series of moon images to movements of Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune, which translates to “moonlight”. According to the Vatican Observatory’s post, the footage “follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon.”

The moon and music – a magical combination.


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Maggie Ciskanik is a regular contributor to the Magis Center blog.

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