Picture of the Day: Highest Point on the Moon

More
MoonPeak.jpg

That spot where the arrow is pointing has been determined to be the highest point on the moon by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. At 35,387 feet above the average lunar elevation, it's more than a mile higher than the summit of Mount Everest. From here, it doesn't look very impressive and it probably isn't all that impressive from the ground, either, as the slope is only about three degrees.

"According to the LRO page, this region of the Moon has such a high elevation probably due to the monster impact that formed the 2500-km-wide Aitken Basin at the Moon's south pole," wrote Phil Plait at Discover Magazine's Bad Astronomy blog. "The debris piled up all over the place, and near this position would've been tremendous. Imagine! Several billion years ago, an asteroid perhaps 200 km (120 miles) across plows into the Moon at a speed 30 times faster than a rifle bullet. A huge hole is excavated, and all that debris has to go somewhere. Even on the lunar equator, 2700 km (1600 miles) away, ejecta material falling piles up to depths of 10,000 meters! Incredible!"

Image: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In