What Apollo 13 Saw


These animations uses data obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter depict views of the lunar surface that would have been visible to the crew of Apollo 13 during its one turn around the Moon, starting with earthset and sunrise and concluding with the time Apollo 13 reestablished radio contact with Mission Control. Also depicted is the path of the free return trajectory around the Moon and a continuous view of the Moon throughout that path. The animations don’t run in real-time but has been sped up for this short video.

Video Credit: NASA

Beresheet Impact Site


The Israeli lunar lander Beresheet impacted at too high a velocity for a safe landing. The images for this before and after comparison of the landing site were taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The dates in the lower left indicate when the images were taken. It appears the spacecraft landed from the north on the rim of a small crater, leaving a dark smudge on Mare Serenitatis that’s elongated towards the south.

Image Credits: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

Tycho’s Central Peak


Tycho's Central PeakThe Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been at work for five years. In celebration of those five years, the LRO project asked the public to select a favorite orbiter image of the moon for the cover of a special image collection. After two weeks of voting, this image of Tycho Central Peak was the winner. The Tycho Central Peak rests inside an impact crater and showcases a breathtaking view of the lunar landscape.

The crater’s central peak complex is about 15 km wide in this view. The Tycho crater is about 82 km in diameter. The central peak’s summit rises 2 km above the crater floor.

Image Credit: NASA

The Moon’s North Pole


gigapan_small_str01NASA has created the largest high resolution mosaic of the Moon’s north polar region using images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbit. The 2-meter-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States.

A large version of the map has been posted at http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/gigapan. At that site you can zoom in and out, and pan around an area. The map mosaic was constructed from 10,581 pictures and provides enough detail to see textures and subtle shading of the lunar terrain. Consistent lighting throughout the images makes it easy to compare different regions.

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Taking the Moon for a Spin


The Moon’s rotation is tidally locked in it’s orbit about the Earth so that we always see the same side facing us. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has mapped the Moon, and that data has been used to generate this video of what the lunar surface would look like from an orbit around the Moon.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNUNB6CMnE8]

Video Credit: NASA

Sunrise on the Moon


tychoCentralPeaks_lro950The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this picture of Tycho crater’s central peak complex casting a long, dark shadow near local sunrise. The dramatic oblique view was The rugged complex is about 15 km wide and is believed to have formed in uplift by the giant impact that created the well-known ray crater 100 million years ago. The summit of its central peak reaches 2 km above the Tycho crater floor. Features as small as 1.5 m are visible in the image.

Image Credit: NASA