NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center celebrated the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (LRO) 1,000th day in orbit around the Earth’s only natural satellite by releasing this animation of the Moon’s entire formation history compressed to under three minutes.

From year to year, the moon never seems to change. Craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn’t always look like this. Thanks to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we now have a better look at some of the moon’s history. Learn more in this video!

The moon has no eroding atmosphere and no plate tectonics, so the violence of the early solar system is eternally etched onto the moon’s surface. This is an important scientific factor: there is invaluable information about the solar system’s formation etched deep into its rock, which provides information about the evolution of our own planet– as well as the evolution of our entire galaxy. The Moon is a cosmic “witness plate” that has been exposed to radiation and meteorite impacts for billions of years.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10930

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The distance to the Moon is measured to a precision of a few centimeters by bouncing laser beams off reflectors placed there by the Apollo astronauts.

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