Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team at Arizona State University assembled rotating moon video made from reflectance maps and digital terrain models created from data gathered by LRO’s wide-angle camera. This full 360-degree portrait of the Moon shows its surface as if it were receiving direct top-down sunlight on all points. Data used to create the view above can also be used to calculate the type of illumination that would be found on any point on the Moon, at any time, allowing for better targeted observation planning with LRO’s narrow-angle camera.
A huge payoff from the longevity of the LRO mission is the repeat coverage obtained by the LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC). The WAC has a very wide field-of-view (FOV), 90° in monochrome mode and 60° in multispectral mode. The wide FOV enables orbit-to-orbit stereo, which allowed LROC team members at the DLR to create the unprecedented 100 meter scale near-global (0° to 360° longitude and 80°S to 80°N latitude) topographic map of the Moon. Read more about how this process was engineered here.
Featured image: Synthetic view of the waxing Moon as viewed from Earth on October 15, 2013 at 17:00:00 UTC (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)
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