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The Moon Just Got Bigger

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera mosaic of the lunar nearside. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Take a gander at this brand new image of the Moon from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is one of the largest and highest resolution images ever compiled of the near-side of the Moon. For two weeks in mid-December 2010, LRO’s orbit allowed the spacecraft to remain looking straight down. Gathering over 1,300 images during this time, LRO’s imaging run allowed the team to compile a monstrous 24,000 x 24,000 pixel mosaic from the Wide Angle Camera (WAC), with a resolution of approximately 145 meters per pixel. The detail is nothing short of spectacular.

You can go the LROC website and see a 1400 X 1400 version, another 1400 X 1400 version with labels, and the full version that you can “Zoomify” and see incredible detail like never before.

Source: LROC website.


Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aqua February 22, 2011, 4:17 PM

    Thanks for the hot tip Nancy! I’ve got some serious Lunar cruising to do! This ROCKS! and should be attached to the Moon Zoo? if it isn’t already? Yah gottah LOVE that LRO resolution!

  • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb February 22, 2011, 5:38 PM

    Great images, though I am a bit surprised at the error rate and small ‘missing’ areas. Whilst the central regions are nice, the lunar limb has been poorly constructed.
    this image is of course along 0° longitude, and of course it would be better were it along say 90°, 180&#176 and 270°, so we could look down on all the lunar surface, and not just the lock-in visible side. Clearly they have not spend as much attention to the far side, where the images still appear as incomplete. I.e. http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/index.php?/archives/256-The-Moons-largest-impact-basin.html#extended .
    There is also something odd about the image, especially in the white ray structures (probably because it is black and white and not colour.) I am still unsure if this is realistic, especially when the view of the near or full moon through a telescope is so much brighter and the ray structure is far more prominent. The resolution. however, is outstanding. Hopefully we can look forward to see other different views from these images.

  • paikuhan February 23, 2011, 4:19 AM

    hey why does it seem that the moon has more craters at its poles?