Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2002 April 1
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Hubble Resolves Expiration Date For Green Cheese Moon
Credit: Ranger 9 Spacecraft, NASA

Explanation: Using the new camera on the recently refitted Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have been able to confirm that the Moon is made of green cheese. The telling clue was the resolution of a numeric date after which the Moon may go bad. Controversy still exists, however, over whether the date resolved is truly an expiration date or just a "sell by" date. "To be cautious, we should completely devour the Moon by tomorrow," a spokesperson advised. Happy April Fool's Day from the folks at APOD. The above image (slightly altered) was actually taken in 1965 by the Ranger 9 probe minutes before impact. The popular "Moon is made of Green Cheese" myth can be traced back almost 500 years. It has been used historically in context to indicate a claim so clearly false that no one -- not even April Fools -- will believe it.

Tomorrow's picture: Black Water Mystery

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.