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Lunar wilderness - How the Earth and the surface of the Moon may appear from near the Moon's south pole - Space Art Illustration

 

Lunar wilderness

The Moon has no atmosphere to scatter sunlight, as a result the lunar sky appears velvety black, whether it is the middle of the day or midnight Selene time. Another consequence of the lack of an atmosphere is that surface temperatures vary widely, from 212 F during the day to minus 280 F at night.

In this image the artist has tried to capture one of the Moon's more bizarre realties: it is believed that the surface is buried under shattered rock, dust, and debris to a depth of 16 miles. This debris layer is the result of over four billion years of meteorites, micrometeorites, and comets striking the moon's surface.

The Earth too has suffered such a cosmic bombardment, but unlike the Moon, its geologically active surface and weather have erased the evidence from all but the most recent encounters.

Things change very slowly on the moon; footprints left in the lunar dust by the Apollo astronauts in the 1970s will still be visible millions of years from now.

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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