Feeds

Lunar orbiter beams back first Moon snaps

Mare Nubium poses for the camera

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
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
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?