Astronomy: The Lighthearted Moon

The clear pictures televised from Ranger spacecraft have brought man closer and closer to the surface of the moon. But for an advanced step in lunar explorations—a first comparison between the moon's crust and its invisible interior—scientists have now abandoned telescope and camera and turned to the computer.

Resetting the Clock. Columbia University Astronomer Wallace J. Eckert and Graduate Student H. F. Smith Jr. of IBM's Watson Laboratory at Columbia began by analyzing the moon's orbit with IBM's fast-figuring computers. The moon's position has been observed with precision for 200 years, so there was more than enough...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!