3-D Virtual Moon Browser from Kaguya Data

Article written: 5 Nov , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has released all the data from the Kaguya mission to the public. One of the ways to view the data is through a very nifty 3-D virtual brower. It only is available in Japanese for now (English version by the end of November, they say) so it is a little difficult to navigate, but once you figure it out, prepare yourself for loads of fun. First, you need Java. Then…

go to this page and download the browser. (If you don’t have Java, when you try to open the download it will ask you if you want to add Java.) When you get everything downloaded and the page opens up, (screenshot of page, above) look for the blue buttons on the top right. If you have a modern PC or laptop, click on the left blue button. If you have an old pre-Intel Mac, click the right blue button. Then again, it takes a while for the data to download. On the left are different data sets you can view from the different instruments. Unless you are familiar with the different instruments, it is kind of a crap shoot as far as what each one is; so just click one and see what comes up. The top one is for Clementine data, but the rest are from the different instruments on Kaguya. The Moon globe will fill in with data, and you can spin around and check out virtually any location on the Moon. It’s pretty wild, and addictive. If you still have a hard time figuring it out, you’ll have to wait for the English version. Or you can go to this page, which is a form where you can request what data you want to see. Enjoy!

The data was gathered from December 21, 2007 to October 31, 2008, and unfortunately, doesn’t include images gathered by the HD camera.

Hat tip to Jeroen van Dorp!


3 Responses

  1. It is easy to get a rough translation from Japanese into English. Just paste it into Google Translate, choose the language and click translate. The translation appears within a few seconds.

  2. Jon Hanford says

    Great tip, Sam, and well worth the effort.

    No HD just plain sucks.

    It would be great if NASA or Google Moon would do this using the LRO dataset (when completed, of course), with its higher resolution. Of course, this would chew up many terabytes on servers, but hey, so will LSST and Pan-Starrs 4 🙂

  3. Thanks for your comment Jon. On my own websites there is a Google gadget which allows each page to be translated automatically into 35 languages. For example see http://www.kawarty.com

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