1. LA GIOCONDA

    NASA to Laser-Beam ‘Mona Lisa’

    Copy of "Mona Lisa" in Madrid in Feb. 2012. (Paul White/AP)

    Those unforgettable eyes will soon be seen by aliens from every angle. A digital image of the Mona Lisa will be transmitted via a laser beam to the moon as part of an experiment of NASA’s laser-tracking system. NASA regularly sends laser pulses to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the moon nearly 240,000 miles away for the past three and a half years, to find its precise location in orbit. NASA had previously sent strings of numbers to space and had those on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter report back which numbers they saw to find their precise location. But last March, researchers chose to beam up a digital rendering of the Mona Lisa, because the painting is so much more visual than strings of random numbers, according to a paper published Thursday.

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