Using elevation and image data returned by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this animation takes the viewer on a virtual tour of the Moon. The viewer flies over the lunar terrain, coming in for close looks at a variety of interesting sites. Sites were chosen to illustrate a wide variety of lunar terrain features. Some are on the near side and are familiar to both professional and amateur observers on Earth, while others can only be seen clearly from space. Some are large and old (Orientale, South Pole-Aitken), others are smaller and younger (Tycho, Aristarchus, Shackleton). Constantly shadowed areas near the poles are hard to photograph but easier to measure with altimetry, while several of the Apollo landing sites, all relatively near the equator, have been imaged at resolutions as high as 25 centimeters (10 inches) per pixel.
The shape of the terrain in this animation is based primarily on data from LRO’s laser altimeter (LOLA), supplemented by stereo image data from its wide angle camera (LROC WAC) and from Japan’s Kaguya mission. The global surface color is from Clementine.
Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff