NASA fires giant lasers at the moon

On Saturday NASA celebrated International Observe the Moon Night in a rather spectacular manner when a small team based at the Goddard Space Flight Center went all Dr. Evil and fired 28 giant laser beams a second at it. However, they were not attempting to blow it up but rather track the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a space probe currently on a photographic tour of the moon.

The Orbiter is currently hurtling around the moon at 3,600 miles an hour and is roughly 250,000 miles away from Earth, busy taking super-close-up images of Earth’s major satellite and beaming them back down to NASA. That fact didn’t stop the Laser Ranging Facility’s team locating it though – who can detect the probe by firing 28 lasers a second at the moon and then measuring how the focused light is reflected back to Earth – as captured here by guest photographer Debbie Mccallum.