Tycho Magnetic Anomaly
June 13, 2019 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Earth's clingy best friend is also the site of one of the largest-known impact craters in our entire solar system. Essentially, something caused a giant hole on the moon billions of years ago, and astronomers have just discovered that there's something big -- really big -- buried underneath the surface.

More details from Phys.org.

Deep Structure of the Lunar South Pole‐Aitken Basin, Peter B. James et al, Geophysical Research Letters. no open access grumble grumble

Hat tip to duffell.
posted by ragtag (62 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
THEY FOUND ATLANTIS. QUICK, GET THE LEARNING CHANNEL ON THE PHONE, LET'S GREENLIGHT A FUCKING SERIES
posted by duffell at 6:37 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Shadow vessel.
posted by stevis23 at 6:48 AM on June 13 [21 favorites]


Bureaucrats from the USAA, having missed their daughters' birthdays, are rushing to the scene on the Pan Am Spaceplane. As soon as they can figure out how to use the goddamn toilet.
posted by theory at 6:50 AM on June 13 [20 favorites]


Friggin’ Clarke with his friggin’ time machine.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:52 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I bet it's just more rocks.
posted by bondcliff at 6:58 AM on June 13 [14 favorites]


KAIJU!
posted by Adridne at 7:02 AM on June 13


I BET IT'S A BIG FUCKING METEOR
posted by Merus at 7:09 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


That's no moon!
posted by briank at 7:13 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I'm not saying that's no moon, but that's probably no moon.
posted by emelenjr at 7:13 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


The moon is a giant spider egg.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:14 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Great. It's the biggest zit in the universe and the fact that I can't pop it is making me wiggy.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:14 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Moon’s haunted.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on June 13 [19 favorites]


lance of longinus.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:18 AM on June 13 [10 favorites]


Obelisk, obviously.
posted by MrVisible at 7:28 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


How close to the surface is the metal? The article mostly seems to talk about maximum depths, but if the metal is close enough to the surface to mine it could be a huge boon to any potential colony.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 7:28 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Was thinking the same thing, Pamplemousse. The article says "it could be a time machine -- and a gold mine for scientists". Sure, but it could also be a mine for everyone. It probably doesn't make sense to try to boot mined metals out of the moon's gravity well to return to Earth. But you sure could use it to get a bunch of metal for building things in space. Although by the time we're capable of that it may be asteroid mining is the better choice. But the Moon, it's so close!
posted by Nelson at 7:32 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Also the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is coming up next month and I am kind of psyched about it.

But on the topic of weird stuff inside the moon, last night I was reading the dead tree magazine version of this interview with some of the later Apollo astronauts. One of them gets to talking about "lunar mass concentrations [dense subsurface material that pulled more strongly gravitationally on orbiting spacecraft]" or "mascons" and how they provided a bit of a surprise while the astronauts orbited the moon:
The mascons had changed our orbit in the final hours before the descent; we were lower than the 60-nautical-miles by 50,000-feet orbit we’d initially set up. We later determined that the LM cleared those mountains by just 9,000 feet! We’d gone to bed the night before thinking we were comfortably clear of the terrain. But when I woke up the next morning and took the window cover off, I looked out and it sure looked like the mountains out there were above us!
posted by exogenous at 7:40 AM on June 13 [10 favorites]


Fascinating news: it’s a curling stone.

Bad news: it’s the first throw of the match.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:43 AM on June 13 [10 favorites]


Does the fact that it is in the polar region make potential visits more difficult? I am thinking about the need to launch terrestrial rockets from locations closer to the equator. Collecting solar energy would be how much harder at the lunar pole? No atmospheric problems, of course.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 7:44 AM on June 13


When we eventually dig it up, I bet we'll find it's a backup copy of Buzz Aldrin's ego. (Not that, as a hero and national treasure, he's not entitled to a big ego.)
posted by zaixfeep at 7:46 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


My guess: mass driver slug from another galaxy that missed its target.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:54 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


For you Apollo fans, the recently released film which is available on DVD/BluRay is also going to be shown on TV on Sunday the 23rd of June on CNN.
posted by codewheeney at 7:57 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


More goddamn Nazis.
posted by The otter lady at 8:03 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Is it blue?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:13 AM on June 13


Obviously, the moon is about to hatch.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:19 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


The mascons had changed our orbit in the final hours before the descent; we were lower than the 60-nautical-miles by 50,000-feet orbit we’d initially set up. We later determined that the LM cleared those mountains by just 9,000 feet! We’d gone to bed the night before thinking we were comfortably clear of the terrain. But when I woke up the next morning and took the window cover off, I looked out and it sure looked like the mountains out there were above us!

Matches my Kerbal Space Program experiences.
posted by curious nu at 8:21 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


THE MOON, SHE SCREAMS LIKE A MAN
posted by thelonius at 8:22 AM on June 13


Obviously, the moon is about to hatch.

Or E-X-P-L-O-D-E
posted by curious nu at 8:22 AM on June 13


why oh why does Wikipedia not have an article titled "list of cheeses by specific gravity"

I want to know what kind the moon is made out of

asking for a mouse
posted by ragtag at 8:23 AM on June 13 [12 favorites]




Or E-X-P-L-O-D-E

Seveneves was a prophecy??
posted by supermedusa at 8:41 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


This is great, I wonder if it'll finally settle the impact theory about the Moon's creation.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:41 AM on June 13




It's not a monolith? Disappointed!
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 9:15 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows it's TMA-1
posted by Oh_Bobloblaw at 9:15 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Fascinating news: it’s a curling stone. Bad news: it’s the first throw of the match.

Gotta be the fourth throw, at least. Moon is a guard stone that was thrown early to protect the earth stone. Second throw must've gone through the house without hitting anything.
posted by clawsoon at 9:25 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Alien spacecraft powered by a miniature black hole.
posted by Splunge at 9:56 AM on June 13


Which moon are we talking about? The original one that was hollowed out, the fake one built to replace it, or the smaller one we keep hidden behind the other two?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:24 AM on June 13 [7 favorites]


I think it's where all the Apollo astronauts buried their collected poop.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:44 AM on June 13


Because raisins?
posted by flabdablet at 10:50 AM on June 13


It's the one Soviet N1 rocket that made it, but impacted just that little bit too fast. The mission was a spectacular failure... but the cover-up truly world class. #altermativelunarhoaxes
posted by Devonian at 11:13 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Intellects at CNN, vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded the Moon's bias with envious eyes.
posted by Tarn at 11:45 AM on June 13


I'm just delighted by the description of the moon as "Earth's clingy best friend."
posted by nickmark at 12:05 PM on June 13 [8 favorites]


I’m just glad someone finally came out and called the moon “clingy.” I mean, there’s plenty of other things to orbit in the solar system and I don’t think planets are hard wired to spend all eternity with just one moon. Look at Jupiter. Even little Mars is getting a little extra on the side.

Listen Moon, I’m sorry you found our stash of artificial satellites. But the truth is you just haven’t satisfied us as an orbital partner for some time and I think we should see other heavenly bodies.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:51 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Don't be so hasty - that may be Earth, Jr. she's carrying.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:54 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Obviously, the moon is about to hatch.

The giant world-bearing turtles have to come from somewhere.
posted by dephlogisticated at 1:32 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Don't be so hasty - that may be Earth, Jr. she's carrying.

Goddamn it. This is what happens when you send Buzz Aldrin.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:49 PM on June 13




Does the fact that it is in the polar region make potential visits more difficult? I am thinking about the need to launch terrestrial rockets from locations closer to the equator.

Landing at the poles is not really any more difficult than landing at the equator. The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, so it only rotates once a month; there's not a lot of extra energy to be gained or saved from launching or landing at its equator. Returning to Earth is also pretty similar from the pole as from the equator. You just have to pick your launch direction carefully so your lunar prograde aligns with Earth retrograde.

Collecting solar energy would be how much harder at the lunar pole?

Easier actually. There are places at the poles that are in (almost) permanent sunlight. There are also permanently shaded craters that likely have water ice in them.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:16 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Came for the monolith comments, not disappointed. If it's 11 feet high, and 1¼ by 5 feet in cross-section. When its dimensions were checked with great care, they were found to be in the exact ratio 1 to 4 to 9—the squares of the first three integers, that would really get attention.
posted by theora55 at 3:41 PM on June 13


Lavos spawn.
posted by Scattercat at 4:34 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


full text
posted by metaplectic at 9:30 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Now its signals have ceased, and those whose duty it is will be turning their minds upon Earth. Perhaps they wish to help our infant civilization. But they must be very, very old, and the old are often insanely jealous of the young.

I can never look now at the Milky Way without wondering from which of those banked clouds of stars the emissaries are coming. If you will pardon so commonplace a simile, we have set off the fire-alarm and have nothing to do but to wait.

I do not think we will have to wait for long.

posted by doctornemo at 3:30 AM on June 14 [4 favorites]


dammit you guys:
The proposed equations are able to predict density at constant temperature of 20C with sufficient accuracy. Future work is requested to evaluate the influence of the temperature on cheese density measurement
(for the record, though, the densest cheese mentioned in the paper is gjetost, at 1.23 g/cm^3)

(the moon is 3.344 g/cm^3)

(I cannot reconcile these measurements with my personal beliefs)
posted by ragtag at 5:32 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


Clearly those are moon grams, not earth grams. It's the only explanation that fits the available facts.
posted by flabdablet at 7:05 AM on June 14


How close to the surface is the metal? The article mostly seems to talk about maximum depths, but if the metal is close enough to the surface to mine it could be a huge boon to any potential colony.

Unfortunately the only depth estimates I saw placed it something like 180 miles below the surface.

And anyway, I thought in the last space thread we all agreed that it's pointless to put humans in space.
posted by happyroach at 8:37 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Something's wrong from the moon, my friends...
posted by djrock3k at 11:39 AM on June 14


Theme for this thread.

Theme for the Southern Polar Crater (warning: proper bonkers).
posted by Devonian at 2:07 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


That is proper bonkers! Fantastic!
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:56 PM on June 14


Metafilter, you're slipping. The obvious answer is that the SCP foundation is already onsite and working to contain the anomaly.
posted by Ber at 8:17 AM on June 15


proper bonkers

Outstanding.
posted by flabdablet at 10:44 PM on June 15


Slarty Bartfast: "I mean, there’s plenty of other things to orbit in the solar system and I don’t think planets are hard wired to spend all eternity with just one moon. Look at Jupiter. Even little Mars is getting a little extra on the side. "

Phobos is going to crash into Mars in 20 million years or so, not sure how that fits into the metaphor.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:15 PM on June 23


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