Unless you're an astronaut, we're willing to bet that you have never seen the Moon depicted as stunningly as it is here. For close to three years now, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been snapping high resolution photos of the Moon's surface. Now, the Goddard Visualization Studio has used those images to create an applet that lets you see — in absolutely mind-blowing detail — what the Moon will look like on any given hour throughout 2012.
That's over 8,700 hi-res images of the moon waxing, waning and librating in space. But those are (and we mean no disrespect here) just images. Fortunately for us, the brilliant minds at Goddard had the good sense to string all these images together into a video. Then, Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait had the ingenious idea to kick things up a notch by adding a dramatic score and a bunch of informative annotations that explain, among other things, what the hell "libration" is.
The result is a truly remarkable, high-definition video of the Moon, unlike any you've ever seen. Full screen, 1080p, volume up. You know the drill. (Those interested in watching the video without the score & annotations can watch it on the Goddard site.)