Moon Madness

Geeze, will Google give it a rest already? How are we supposed to keep up on all the stuff it has going on? Now the company is sponsoring a $25 million prize for someone to land a probe on the Moon. So, get started!

Full Moon
Look at me!
Courtesy Gary Seronik.
As part of that announcement, Google enhanced its Moon page at moon.google.com. Now it offers detail about the Apollo landings. Zoom in to see highlights of the exploration.

Other than these details, the base Moon map isn't any higher resolution. But there are geologic maps you can peruse if you're so inclined. And, the map doesn't have a picture of cheese as it's final zoom level.

Google Moon is interesting, but here's a better Moon-related website that you'll probably find more useful. Sky & Telescope contributing editor Chuck Wood told me about it at the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific earlier in the month. Chuck is all about the Moon, and he writes the magazine's monthly Exploring the Moon department. His latest project is a "Moon wiki." That is, an online encyclopedia about lunar features being assembled by a collective of contributors.

It features a growing collection of images, references, and descriptions of all the craters, mountains, canyons, and whatnot that you can explore with your telescope.

You can just browse it at your leisure to stumble upon lunar curiosities, or search for specific features. Chuck (a.k.a. wikimaster "tychocrater") has lists, lists, and more lists, including a glossary, his Lunar 100, space missions, and references. So, get started!

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