/looh"neuh/, n.1. the ancient Roman goddess personifying the moon, sometimes identified with Diana.2. (in alchemy) silver.3. (l.c.) Also, lunette. Eccles. the crescent-shaped receptacle within the monstrance, for holding the consecrated Host in an upright position.[ < L luna the moon]
* * *Any of a series of unmanned Soviet lunar probes, launched between 1959 and 1976, responsible for various lunar "firsts." Luna 2 (1959) was the first spacecraft to strike the Moon; Luna 3 (1959) was the first to circle the Moon and took the first photographs of its far side. Luna 9 (1966) made the first successful lunar soft landing. Luna 16 (1970) was the first unmanned spacecraft to carry lunar soil samples back to Earth. Luna 17 (1970) soft-landed a robot vehicle for exploration; it also contained television equipment and sent live pictures of several miles of the Moon's surface. See also Pioneer; Ranger; Surveyor.
* * *county, southwestern New Mexico, U.S., bordered on the south by Mexico. It is a region of desert and semiarid plains broken by isolated mountains and mountain ranges, in the Mexican Highland section of the Basin and Range Province. The Continental Divide crosses the western section of the county, which includes the Cooke, Good Sight, Victorio, Cedar Mountain, Florida, and Tres Hermanas ranges and the Carrizalillo Hills. The highest mountains are in the north, topped by 8,408-foot- (2,563-metre-) high Cooke's Peak. The Mimbres River enters Luna county in the north and passes underground, not to reappear until it reaches the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Recreation areas include Rock Hound and Pancho Villa state parks.Several Spanish expeditions of exploration entered the region in the late 18th century. During the Mexican War, the U.S. Army's Mormon Battalion marched through it, their route later becoming part of the Butterfield Trail to California. The region was longtime Apache Indian territory, and, intermittently from 1862 to 1886, Apaches led by chiefs Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Geronimo warred with white settlers, travelers, and the U.S. Army. Luna county was established in 1901. In 1916, about 500 Mexican partisans of revolutionary general Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, near the border, in the only foreign attack on the U.S. mainland.Luna county is a productive irrigated farming region (cattle, chiles, vegetables, cotton); tourism is also important to the economy. The county seat is Deming. Area 2,965 square miles (7,680 square km). Pop. (2000) 25, 016; (2007 est.) 26,996.any of a series of unmanned Soviet lunar probes.Luna 2 (launched Sept. 12, 1959) was the first spacecraft to strike the Moon, and Luna 3 (Oct. 4, 1959) made the first circumnavigation of the Moon and returned the first photographs of its far side. Luna 9 (Jan. 31, 1966) made the first successful lunar soft landing. Luna 16 (Sept. 12, 1970) was the first unmanned spacecraft to carry lunar soil samples back to Earth. Luna 17 (Nov. 10, 1970) soft-landed a robot vehicle for exploration. It also contained television equipment, by means of which it transmitted live pictures of several kilometres of the Moon's surface. Luna 22 (May 29, 1974) orbited the Moon 2,842 times while conducting space research in its vicinity. Luna 24 (Aug. 9, 1976) returned with lunar soil samples taken from a depth of seven feet (about two metres) below the surface.
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