Posts Tagged ‘LRO’

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Will new Moon images quiet conspiracy theories?

September 6, 2011

by yaska77

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has recorded the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. The photos show the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored the lunar surface, both on foot and in the Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV).

Apollo 12 landing made astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean the third and fourth humans to walk on the moon (Click to enlarge) - Credit: NASA/Goddard/ASU

Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean performed two moon walks during their mission. In the first walk, they collected samples and determined the best location for monitoring equipment called the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP). This experiment continued to send data about the moon’s interior and surface environment back to Earth for over seven years.

The second moon walk saw them set out from the descent stage, loop around Head crater, past Bench and Sharp craters before heading north east to the landing site of Surveyor 3. Here they collected hardware from the unmanned spacecraft that landed two years earlier.

The Apollo 17 landing site with the Challenger descent stage and the LRV visible (Click to enlarge) - Credit: NASA/Goddard/ASU

In the Apollo 17 image above you can determine the last paths made on the moon by humans, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, and the easily recognisable dual tracks left by the lunar rover which can be seen to the east of the lander. The vehicle was “parked” there to provide the best camera view of the departing Challenger module at liftoff.

Will these be enough to silence the conspiracies? Probably not (where’s Apollo 11?!) but they’re still fascinating and beautiful to see.

Have a look at more images, video and info on the NASA LRO site here.

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2011 moon cycle in two and a half minutes

June 19, 2011

by tte-77

Using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) this simulation video, from the Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio shows how the Moon will look to us on Earth during the entire year of 2011 (shame it’s already June).

The video compresses one month into twelve seconds and one year into two and a half minutes.

While the moon always keeps the same face to us, it’s not exactly the same face. Because of the tilt in its axis and shape of its orbit, we see the moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month, and the year.

The video – the most accurate to date – shows shadows and other features on the moon in incredible detail. This is thanks to the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the LRO.

Source: EarthSky

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