The images brought back by NASA’s lunar spacecraft aren’t just gorgeous — they actually reveal a lot about the moon’s complex surface. After orbiting the moon for over two years, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has transmitted back over 192 Terabytes of data, including over 4 billion measurements of the moon’s surface. 192 Terabytes is the equivalent of the data storage of 41,000 conventional DVDs, if you need something for comparison.
If all goes to plan, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will run its mission until at least September of 2012.
Studying the moon’s structure and composition can help scientists better understand the features of our universe. Maybe one day, if we’re lucky — they’ll discover something that will finally end the debate on the origin of human life. Though, that probably won’t be anytime soon.