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53 Interesting Facts About the Number 53 #16: Moon’s Tycho Crater is 53 Miles Across

May 3, 2015
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A Colorful Moon Image Credit & Copyright: László Francsics

Tonight’s marvelous moon, full at 8:42pm PST,  inspires this week’s interesting fact about the Number 53: the Moon’s Tycho Crater is about 53 miles in diameter.

Described by some as the moon’s belly button, Tycho Crater is a youthful 108 million years old. The Crater is about the same depth as the Grand Canyon, about three miles. Inside the crater a mountain range reaches a mile high and is almost 10 miles across. Also inside the crater is where the monolith in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddsey is found.


Sunrise at Tycho Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State Univ. / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

In the image at top from APOD of the moon created by László Francsics,small, measurable color differences have been greatly exaggerated to make this telescopic, multicolored, moonscape captured during the Moon’s full phase. The different colors are recognized to correspond to real differences in the chemical makeup of the lunar surface. Blue hues reveal titanium rich areas while orange and purple colors show regions relatively poor in titanium and iron. The familiar Sea of Tranquility, or Mare Tranquillitatis, is the blue area in the upper right corner of the frame. White lines radiate across the orange-hued southern lunar highlands from 85 kilometer wide ray crater Tycho at bottom left. Above it, darker rays from crater Copernicus extend into the Sea of Rains (Mare Imbrium) at the upper left. Calibrated by rock samples from the Apollo missions, similar multicolor images from spacecraft have been used to explore the Moon’s global surface composition.”


Tycho and Copernicus: Lunar Ray Craters Credit & Copyright: Steve Mandel, Hidden Valley Observatory

For many, today is also Wesak or Vesak, a day celebrated by Buddhists around the world to commemorate three significant events in Gautama Buddha’s life: his birthday, his enlightenment, and his passing away. One of the most important Buddhist festivals of the year,  offerings of flowers, joss-sticks and candles remind Buddhists that like these items, life is temporary. The festival is held on different day each year depending on the phase of the moon, and there are regional differences as well. In 2015, most celebrated today however, in Vietnam, it will be celebrated about a month later.


In Ventura, a Vietnamese Vesak will be held at the end of the month at the An Lac Budhist Temple: Sunday May 31 starting at 10am. More details to follow.

PS This is post 1650! Please subscribe! It’s free! It’s convenient!

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