Throwing down the gauntlet

It took them a while to get to this, but yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a taunting response to a post of mine back in February, where I talked about capturing sunrise on the Tycho crater of the moon. I mean, not personally (as far as anyone knows,) but remotely, viewing at higher magnification from Earth. Their version, also taken at sunrise, shows a huge boulder that sits atop the peak, and if you go back to the photo that I included with my post (I provide these links for a reason,) you can see that it’s even visible in that image – not mine, but NASA’s detail image of that peak. It’s 120 meters across, meaning it would more than cover a football field, the universal measurement of big things here in the states. They put it down to being a bit of landed rubble from the impact that created Tycho in the first place, but I personally suspect it’s a glacial erratic…

boulder on Tycho's central peak
Main image and upper inset courtesy of NASA, Arizona State U., LRO; Lower Inset courtesy of Gregory H. Revera

Now, it must be said that NASA did not capture this image from a ground-based telescope like any real man would, but was cheating and using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a satellite probe cruising by just 50 km above the moon’s surface. Sure, anyone could get super-detailed shots just by launching their own orbital satellite to the moon!

But is that the way you want to play, NASA? Well, fine – game on! Let’s see you–…

Okay, I got nothing.