Mystery Image Contest: July 7-21, 2014


This image is of the surface of the moon, planet Earth's only natural satellite. July 20th, 2014 marks the 45th anniversary of humans setting foot on the moon, when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to do so in 1969. Neil Armstrong was part of the crew of the NASA Apollo 11 mission, along with Buzz Aldrin (who also set foot on the moon) and Michael Collins (who operated the command spacecraft in lunar orbit). The guess image is of a section of the moon called the Mare Tranquillitatis ("Sea of Tranquility" in Latin) where the Apollo 11 lunar lander touched down. Several more "seas" (for example the Mare Nubium and Mare Insularum) cover the surface of the moon; they are not actually seas, but rather large plains of basalt formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. European astronomers, observing the moon in the 17th century, believed these darker areas to be actual seas and named them as such.


This image is of the Moon.

Photo Credit


Winning Entry

L. Baskin

For Educators

Teaching Support

The moon has played (and continues to play) a central role in countless cultural and natural phenomena that we observe here on Earth. Despite being recognizable to certainly anyone, facts about this celestial body continue to be somewhat poorly understood. Take this summer learning opportunity to explore, for example, why we can see the moon at night despite it not being luminous on its own. Learn about why the phases of the moon occur and how they inform the lunar calendars used by many cultures to this day. Explain why we can only ever see one side of the moon from Earth (or why there is a "far side of the moon"). Or delve into the mechanics of gravity and how the moon affects planet Earth through its gravity, causing the tides.

See below for Science NetLinks' resources for exploring all of these topics and more. And if you have a mobile device, be sure to download the Gravity Launch app (below) for a fun, practical way to learn about gravity!

Related Resources

Lunar Cycle
Sky 1: Objects in the Sky
Sky 2: Shadows
Sky 3: Modeling Shadows
Sky 4: The Moon
Gravity Launch Mobile
3-5 | LESSON
Team Moon
6-8 | LESSON
Foucault's Pendulum
9-12 | LESSON
Solar Power from Moon
Gravity Launch App
3-12 | TOOL
Lunar Cycle 1: Calendar
K-5 | TOOL
Lunar Cycle 2: The Challenge
K-5 | TOOL
By the Light of the Moon

Science NetLinks Mystery Image Contest Rules and Regulations

What Is the

Mystery Image Contest?

The Mystery Image Contest offers the chance to identify a science-related object based on a close-up picture of it.