Artemis I is on its way to orbit the Moon and today (Monday, November 21, 2022) will pass within 60 miles of the lunar surface. The purpose of this space program is to return people to the moon on the third Artimis mission. If all goes well with spacecraft testing on the first two flights, Artimis III will land near the lunar South Pole on a ridge exposed almost continually to sunlight beside a deep depression of eternal darkness where useable amounts of water ice are likely present.
The upper photo shows my telescopic image of the Moon with locations of some of the south polar landing site options labeled. The lower photo is from NASA’s LROC QuickMap image of the south pole of the moon with blue boxes outlining potential landing sites and orange outlines of the depths that never see sunlight. Temperatures in these eternally dark areas may approach -280 degrees Fahrenheit which keeps water and other volatiles from evaporating away, but is unimaginably cold, especially for a Floridian.
One thought on “Land of Light and Eternal Night”
Fascinating to look at. Happy to keep my feet on Earth though! A chilly November day is cold enough for me!
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