Skip to main content

NASA animation shows the Moon's development through the ages

NASA animation shows the Moon's development through the ages


Data gathered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter has allowed the Goddard Space Center to create an animation illustrating the events that have shaped the satellite over billions of years.

Share this story

A new video created by the team at NASA's Goddard Space Center shows the Moon's development over billions of years, beginning with a volcanic ball of lava and ending up with the cratered, milky rock we know today. The animation condenses the millennia down to just under three minutes, highlighting the major periods of meteor bombardment and volcanic activity which shaped the satellite.

The images come courtesy of Goddard's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has spent almost three years mapping the surface of the moon. Using the photos it has captured, combined with a number of different radio imaging techniques, it's possible to estimate the age of each of the craters in the moon. These findings show that the larger, more severe impacts happened long ago while more recently a shower of smaller asteroids created the pockmarked surface we know today.

The video itself is available in a wide variety of formats, including high definition and 3D, as well as a narrated version which gives a bit more detail. All of these can be downloaded from the Goddard website, while the standard version is below.