Feeds

Lunar orbiter beams back first Moon snaps

Mare Nubium poses for the camera

Remote control for virtualized 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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.