Feeds

Lunar orbiter beams back first Moon snaps

Mare Nubium poses for the camera

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has beamed back its first snaps of the Moon - images from the Mare Nubium region captured by the spacecraft's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, aka LROC:

LRO image from the Mare Nubium region. Pic: NASA

LROC Principal Investigator Mark Robinson of Arizona State University explained: "Our first images were taken along the moon's terminator - the dividing line between day and night - making us initially unsure of how they would turn out. Because of the deep shadowing, subtle topography is exaggerated, suggesting a craggy and inhospitable surface.

"In reality, the area is similar to the region where the Apollo 16 astronauts safely explored in 1972. While these are magnificent in their own right, the main message is that LROC is nearly ready to begin its mission."

The LROC is in fact three cameras: Two narrow-angle instruments, designed to capture "high-resolution, black-and-white images of the surface, capturing images of the poles with resolutions down to 1 meter (about 3.3 feet)".

The other wide-angle camera is tasked with capturing "color and ultraviolet images over the complete lunar surface at 100-meter (almost 330-foot) resolution". NASA adds: "These images will show polar lighting conditions, identify potential resources and hazards, and aid selection of safe landing sites".

In the case of the photo above, taken by the narrow-angle cameras, NASA says "features as small as 3 meters (9.8 feet) wide can be discerned" in the 1,400 meters (0.87 miles) wide slice of lunar surface.

This, of course, comes as welcome news to those of us eagerly awaiting snaps of the Apollo 11 landing site, which will finally reveal whether Aldrin and Armstrong ever really set foot on the Moon. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?