Get The Details On All 21 Successful Moon Landings With This Interactive Map

Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan mans a Lunar Roving Vehicle during the Apollo 17 mission.
Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan mans a Lunar Roving Vehicle during the Apollo 17 mission.
NASA, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In light of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary this week, the world has focused on those historic first few steps on the Moon and everything that led up to them. But how much do you know about the 20 subsequent Moon landings? To fill you in, Smithsonian.com created an interactive map of the Moon with the who, what, where, when, and how of each successful lunar mission.

The map is color-coded: red for Russian Luna missions, green for China’s Chang'e 3 and Chang'e 4, and blue for the U.S.’s Apollo (marked with stars) and Surveyor missions (simple rings). You can click on each icon to expand a paragraph with a short summary of the mission and its notable accomplishments.

After Russia’s unmanned Luna 9 became the first craft to touch down on the Moon in 1966, 18 other triumphant landings followed in just a decade. The 20th didn’t happen until 37 years later, when China achieved its first landing with Chang'e 3 in 2013. The most recent occurred this past January, when China’s Chang'e 4 became the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the Moon. Chang'e 4 and its rover, Yutu 2, are still exploring the Moon as you read this, and China hopes to launch its follow-up mission, Chang'e 5, as early as this year.

Six Apollo missions landed humans on the Moon, and there haven’t been any actual astronauts on its surface since. But the 15 robotic landings have contributed to our lunar knowledge in a safer, more cost-efficient way. If you look at the map, you can see that most of the spacecrafts have landed near the Moon’s equator on the near side, where the terrain is mostly basaltic plains—the far side contains craters and even mountains. With more Chang'e missions to come from China, and NASA’s Artemis missions in the works, Smithsonian.com may soon have to create a 360° version of its map.

[h/t Smithsonian.com]

Each State’s Favorite Romantic Comedy of the Century

Bridesmaids (2011)
Bridesmaids (2011)
Universal Pictures

The nation might be divided when it comes to choosing between three-hour superhero blockbusters and even longer (albeit slower-moving) mob epics, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: Everybody loves a good 90-minute romantic comedy.

Having said that, states do have differing opinions about which one reigns supreme. After asking 4629 Americans to choose their favorite 21st-century movie from Rotten Tomatoes’s list of 150 best romantic comedies of all time, House Method found that a staggering 19 states love 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin above all others. In second place, with 11 states, was Kristen Wiig’s oft-quoted modern classic Bridesmaids from 2011. According to those stats, we simply can’t get enough of Judd Apatow—not only did he direct and co-write The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but he also produced Bridesmaids.

favorite romantic comedies map
House Method

Apart from those two riotous romps, the votes were scattered across many other movies. 13 Going on 30 (2004) and 500 Days of Summer (2009) won four states each, and 2005’s buddy comedy Wedding Crashers came in fifth place with three states.

Amy Adams’s tour de force as a fairytale princess-to-be battling the terrors of present-day Manhattan in 2007’s Enchanted was adequately appreciated by just one state—Nebraska—and Delaware went with 2001’s Amélie, a movie almost as hard to describe as Delaware itself.

Certain quintessential flicks are surprisingly scarce on the map. Only Montana chose 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, and 2003’s Love Actually is exalted by Hawaiians and evidently no one else.

favorite romantic comedies by state
House Method

Since the study just included movies released in 2000 or later, The-40-Year Old Virgin and the rest of the contenders didn’t have quite as much competition as they could’ve had. Meg Ryan-led classics When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) came out before the turn of the century, as did other top rom-coms like My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Say Anything (1989), and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).

In the mood for more talk of love and laughter? Find out 40 fun facts about your favorite romantic comedies here.

[h/t House Method]

The One-Day Record Snowfalls In Each State

Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images
Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images

Long after you’ve grown out of believing in magic, every thick, whirling snowstorm still seems to have been cast upon your town by a winter warlock (or Frozen’s resident ice queen, Elsa).

It’s also pretty magical when those inches of stacked snowflakes add up to a message from your manager telling you not to come into the office. In southern states like Georgia or Florida, sometimes all it takes is a light dusting.

But even those characteristically balmy places have hosted some serious snowstorms over the years, and David Cusick for House Method crunched the numbers to find out which ones made the record books. Using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, Cusick created a map showing the one-day record snowfall for each state.

Florida finished in last place with a scant total of 4 inches, which occurred in Santa Rosa County on March 6, 1954. About two years before that, on January 14, 1952, Colorado had a staggering 76 inches—that’s more than 3 inches per hour—a national record that’s remained unchallenged for nearly 70 years.

Made with Flourish

But other states have come close. The snowstorm that hit Colorado in 1952 wreaked almost as much havoc in California, whose record from the same day was 75 inches. And Washington saw 70 inches of snow in November 1955, beating its 52-inch record from 1935 by a full 18 inches.

Though Midwestern states have gained a reputation for harsh, snowy winters, their one-day record snowfalls are surprisingly moderate. The Illinois and Indiana records are 24 and 26 inches, respectively, both slightly lower than Ohio’s 30-inch snow day from 1901. In 1993, North Carolina bested Ohio’s record by 6 inches.

Wondering how your individual county’s record compares to the overall state one? Cusick created a map for that, too, which you can explore below.

Made with Flourish

[h/t House Method]

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