Thursday, June 16, 2016


The below picture shows the shadow cast by the the lunar probe Surveyor One, which landed June 2, 1966. It was the first time the United States soft-landed a spacecraft on another world, paving the way for the Apollo landings that would follow just three years later.

The picture comes from a 2009 flyover by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. According to the item at the Astronomy Picture of the Day page, Surveyor One is about 3.3 meters (just under 11 feet) high and so it casts a shadow about 15 meters (50 feet) long in the picture taken by the LRO.

Or that's what we're meant to believe. Scientists have yet to comment on suggestions that this shadow is actually cast by a strange black monolith that plays Also sprach Zarathustra whenever another object gets near it.

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