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The next missions to the moon

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posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 06:19 AM
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India, Russia begin talks on Chandrayaan-II

New Delhi, (PTI): India has begun technical discussions with Russia on the joint moon mission Chandrayaan-II which is expected to be launched in 2011-12.

Scientists are planning to land a rover on the moon for carrying out chemical analysis of the lunar surface and explore other resources on the earth's natural satellite.

Read complete article here




posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by Enceladus
 


This is interesting on several levels. First a commitment by Russia to work with India means a new political powerhouse to challenge the traditional western space programs. And a race means some forward progress could come about soon.

Good thread, and an interesting read.




posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:48 AM
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Enceladus, you are doing an excellent work here (thank you
)

I believe that it would be a great idea to open a thread about these agreements: imho, we would be surprised by many things on this topic.



posted on Dec, 22 2007 @ 12:22 AM
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MIT to lead ambitious lunar mission

Twin satellites will study the moon's gravitational pull

MIT will lead a $375 million mission to map the moon's interior and reconstruct its thermal history, NASA announced this week.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission will be led by MIT professor Maria Zuber and will be launched in 2011. It will put two separate satellites into orbit around the moon to precisely map variations in the moon's gravitational pull. These changes will reveal differences in density of the moon's crust and mantle, and can be used to answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure and its history of collisions with asteroids.

Read complete article here



posted on Dec, 22 2007 @ 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by internos
Enceladus, you are doing an excellent work here (thank you
)

I believe that it would be a great idea to open a thread about these agreements: imho, we would be surprised by many things on this topic.



Internos, You have started a very good topic & every day we come across a lot of things related to the subject; lets bring everything under one roof & it will be easy for the readers.

Regards



posted on Dec, 23 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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KAGUYA (SELENE): a brief overview

Equipment:

  • X-ray Spectrometer (XRS)
  • Multi band Imager(MI)
  • Spectral Profiler(SP)
  • Terrain Camera(TC)
  • Charged Particle Spectrometer (CPS)
  • Radio science (RS)
  • Four way Doppler measurements by Relay satellite and Main Orbiter transponder (RSAT)
  • Differential VLBI Radio Source (VRAD)
  • High Definition Television (HDTV)
  • Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS)
  • Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS)
  • Lunar Magnetometer (LMAG)
  • Plasma energy Angle and Composition Experiment (PACE)
  • Upper-atmosphere and Plasma Imager (UPI)


X-ray Spectrometer (XRS)




Scientific Objectives
The XRS will globally determine major elemental composition (Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, Fe, etc.) of the lunar crust with high spatial resolution. The XRS will identify a rock type for each lunar geologic feature and survey its regional variation patterns. Irradiation of solar X-rays excites atoms of the uppermost surface materials. Those excited atoms then transfer into ground state with emitting X-rays characteristic to each element. X-ray spectroscopy of sunlit surface thus provides information on elemental composition, along with concurrent monitoring of incident solar x-rays. XRS will cover approximately 90% of lunar surface except for polar region and map elemental composition with spatial resolution of < 20km.XRF-A (Lunar XRF Detector).


LISM: Terrain Camera(TC), Multi band Imager(MI), Spectral Profiler(SP)

Specifications


Both TC and MI are push-broom type imagers and continuously observe the lunar surface. For stereoscopic observation, TC has two telescopes with one-dimensional detectors looking at forward and backward directions, respectively. MI has two nadir-looking telescopes with two-dimensional detectors and bandpass filters to observe in nine different wavelengths.
SP is a spectrometer observing the lunar surface below the spacecraft and separate the light reflected at the surface in 296 wavelengths using two gratings.


Terrain Camera (TC)


Multi band Imager (MI)


Spectral Profiler (SP)

Results expected:

LISM will provide first precise topographic, geologic, and mineralogical information of the moon. For example, from LISM data at especially interesting areas such as crater central peaks, we can understand accurate rock and mineral distribution at those areas. Quality of LISM data is better than previous lunar exploration satellite data in following points:

  • First global topographic data using stereo images.
  • Precise geologic unit information in higher spatial resolution of one order of magnitude using both of known and newly acquired color images.
  • First direct mineralogical discrimination/identification from continuous reflective spectra.



Charged Particle Spectrometer (CPS)
The ARD will detect alpha rays emitted by Rn and Po on the lunar surface for identification of gas emanation and obtaining information on the crustal movement during the last - 50 years.
ARD

The PS will observe solar and galactic cosmic rays around moon. That is due to protecting human health in the space from radiation particles and to obtain basic cosmic rays data around moon for forecast of cosmic ray radiations in the space.
PS


The ARD and the PS instruments consist of Si semiconductor detectors with high energy resolution. An incident particle is identified by the method of delta-E by total-E using the information of energy deposited in multilayer Si detectors respectively. We obtain not only energy information but also element information for the incident cosmic ray.


Principles of observation

  • Neutrons are produced in the lunar subsurface by irradiation of Galactic Cosmic Ray.
  • Gamma rays with the energy characteristic to each element on the Moon are produced by interactions of those neutrons with surface elements. Natural radioisotopes also emit gamma rays.
  • Elemental composition is determined by measuring the gamma-ray energies from the lunar orbit.



Results expected:
Will be investigated time variation of the gas emanation with the time scale between one month and one year during the mission period as well as with the time scale of years through direct comparison with the previous missions using the ARD instrument.
Will be obtained basic cosmic rays data around moon for forecast of cosmic ray radiations in the space by the PS instrument.

Radio science (RS)
Information of the evolution of the Moon will be obtained by measuring the distribution of gravity fields.

It is still under the debate whether the ionosphere exists on the Moon or not because of the shortage of data. The lunar ionosphere will be probed with RS by measuring the frequency change due to the passage of radio waves in the ionosphere.

VRAD: Differential VLBI observation of radio sources
RS: Observation of the lunar ionosphere

Location of VLBI ground stations

Four way Doppler measurements by Relay satellite and Main Orbiter transponder (RSAT)

Doppler measurements of the lunar far-side have not been done. RSAT overcomes this difficulty by using a relay satellite.

The figure shows the improvement of selenoid height error with RSAT 4way observation.

Improvement of the gravity coefficients in lower degrees with VRAD, and higher degrees up to 30 degree with RSAT by one order.

High Definition Television (HDTV)
This hardware has a telephoto and a wide-angle HDTV color cameras used three 2.2M-pixel CCDs.
The camera can shoot the earth rise and detailed features of complex crater from slant view, and the image is useful as public information.

Specifications
Size: 46cm x 42cm x 28cm
Mass: 16.5kg
Power consumption: 50W
Horizontal angle: 44 degrees (Wide-angle) 15 degrees (Telephoto)


The camera mounted to the moon side of the explorer, and it can shoot the earth rise.

One minute video scene is compressed, stored, and transmitted to the earth through 20 minutes.



posted on Dec, 23 2007 @ 12:06 PM
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Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS)


A germanium semiconductor crystal cooled to below -180 degrees centigrade by a Stirling cryocooler is employed as a main detector of GRS. GRS has an excellent energy resolution 20 times superior to those used in past lunar missions. Thus, GRS can discriminate the incident gamma-ray energies with high precision and can determine abundances of more than 10 elements in the lunar surface.




Neutrons are produced in the lunar subsurface by irradiation of Galactic Cosmic Ray. Gamma rays with the energy characteristic to each element on the Moon are produced by interactions of those neutrons with surface elements. Natural radioisotopes also emit gamma rays. Elemental composition is determined by measuring the gamma-ray energies from the lunar orbit.


GRS will observe chemical abundances of materials (K, U, Th, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ti, Fe, Ca, H, etc.) on lunar surface globally.
The results will be highly accurate and will provide clues leading to advancement in research of the origin and evolution of the moon.
The observations will contribute to lunar resource exploration, especially for water existence. Water is very essential for human activity in a lunar platform in the future and local supply of water is necessary for the sake of cost performance. GRS can identify gamma rays from hydrogen and can map hydrogen.


Measurement of elemental abundances


Evidence of water - A hydrogen peak is appeared if water exists on the moon.

Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS)
Specifications
Mass: 23.182kg
Power: 56.7W

Sounder obs.
SDR frequency: 5MHz(main freq.)
Radiation Power: 800W
Pulse width: 200 micro sec
Modulation: 10kHz/micro sec
Sounding depth: 5km
Natural plasma wave obs.

Frequency: 10Hz - 30MHz

Telemetry speed
High speed: 492kbps
Low speed: 176kbps



LRS is designed for sounding the surface and subsurface structures of the Moon by using HF radar technique with the frequency of 5 MHz. The low frequency radar method makes it possible to realize the mapping of the subsurface structure within a depth of several km with a range resolution of less than 100 m for a region with a horizontal scale of several tens of km. LRS will contribute to the study of the thermal history of the lunar surface region relating to a time scale of several tens of millions of years.



The LRS system transmits RF pulses with frequency of 5 MHz which is able to penetrate deep into the Moon's subsurface region.
When the radio waves meet with the discontinuity of subsurface material, it makes a subsurface echo signal. Observation of subsurface signal makes it possible to see subsurface structure of the Moon.
LRS uses two sets of 30m tip-to-tip long dipole antennas for the 5 MHz radar observation.


Example of the LRS observation over a synthesized moon's surface and subsurface structure is demonstrated in the below panel.

Lunar Magnetometer (LMAG)
LMAG magnetometer can measure a magnetic field weaker than 1/100,000 of the geomagnetic field. Its sensor is mounted on the

edge of a super-lightweight mast extended from the spacecraft at 12m length in order to avoid the magnetic interference.




Magnetic anomalies on the Moon
There are many magnetic anomalies on the Moon where the field intensity is stronger than ordinary regions. We shall perform the high-precision observation to give more detailed map of anomalies in wider regions, enhancing the study of the magnetic anomaly bearing mechanism and of the existence of the ancient lunar magnetic fields.



Example of the lunar magnetic anomaly
(Reiner Gamma region on the near side).

Plasma energy Angle and Composition Experiment (PACE)


LMAG and PACE enable us to study on the present and ancient (say, 3-4 billion years ago) environment of magnetic fields and plasma on and around the Moon and also on the evolution of its deep interior.
PACE consists of 4 sensors: ESA (Electron Spectrum Analyzer)-S1, ESA-S2, IMA (Ion Mass Analyzer), and IEA (Ion Energy Analyzer). ESA-S1 and S2 measure the three-dimensional distribution function of low energy electrons below 15 keV, while IMA and IEA measure the three-dimensional distribution function of low energy ions below 28 keV/q.



Pictures of PACE sensors (top) Cross sections of PACE sensors (bottom)

PACE sensors are top hat type electrostatic analyzers with angular scanning deflectors at the entrance and toroidal electrodes inside. IEA-S and IMA-S have additional electrodes that are used for controlling sensitivity electrically. In order to measure ion mass, LEF (Linear Electric Field) TOF (Time Of Flight) ion mass analyzer is attached to IMA.
Sputtered ions from the lunar surface will be measured for the first time. Recently, ground-based observations have revealed the existence of tenuous alkali-atmosphere around the moon. The rarefied atmosphere is thought to be produced mainly by solar photons and the solar wind.
Sputtering by the solar wind that is one of the source mechanisms of the tenuous atmosphere presumably produces the secondary ions reflecting the composition of the lunar surface.

Upper-atmosphere and Plasma Imager (UPI)
From an orbit around the Moon the Upper-atmosphere and Plasma lmager (UPl) will look at the Earth using two telescopes : an extreme ultraviolet telescope(TEX) to observe the plasmasphere and a visible telescope (TVIS) to observe global distribution of aurora and airglow.



TEX detects the resonance scattering emissions of oxygen ion and helium ion. The telescope employs a high-efficiency mirror and micro-channel plates with a resistive anode producing 128x128pixel images. The corresponding spatial resolution is 500km.

TVIS is equipped with a fast catadioptric optics and a high-sensitivity CCD to image swift aurora and dark airglow. TVIS has a field-of-view equivalent to the Earth disk seen from the Moon. Spatial resolution is about 30km on the Earth's surface.

Observation wavelengths can be changed by selecting filters.


UPI expanding its arm for function testing.

TEX and TVIS are mounted on a special two-axes gimbals mount.The primary and secondary axes cancel the orbital motions of the satellite and the Moon, respectively. Thus, the telescopes can stay pointed to the Earth. UPl is operational only when the satellite is in the lunar shade and visible from the Earth.


From TEX observations we will know the spatial plasma distribution around the Earth every 10 minutes. Especially, imaging of the entire globe by oxygen ion emission will promote the space plasma physics. Using images of the auroral ovals teken by TVIS intensities and shapes of conjugate auroras will be quantitatively compared.
Images Copyright: JAXA

[edit on 23/12/2007 by internos]



posted on Dec, 23 2007 @ 09:58 PM
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internos, do you ever rest, or sleep??? I have spent an hour and barely scratched the surface on the information you have posted here.

Great job, and an excellent presentation of the data.


It's a shame that the ATS Award is no longer around, having been discontinued some months back. I would nominate you for it in a heartbeat.



posted on Dec, 23 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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reply to post by NGC2736
 


If there's a will there's a way.
I nominate him too! Excellent post and information interno's.

I just learned 20 gigabites of information that gave me a brain freeze. I had to reboot my eyes and defrag my brain.



posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 01:09 AM
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Major lunar probe begins full operation: Japan

Japan's first lunar probe, the world's most extensive mission to the moon in decades, has gone into full operation on schedule, the space agency announced Wednesday.

The Kaguya orbiter completed a two-month initial phase to inspect the functioning of all the equipment before starting its main mission on Friday last week, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.

"Normal operations will continue for 10 months to collect data for lunar and other research," JAXA said in a brief statement.

Read complete article



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 07:47 PM
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Update from JAXA
KAGUYA (SELENE) Observations with Laser Altimeter (LALT)
and Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS) Sounder Mode
January 10, 2008 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)


The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) carried out observations using two onboard sensors of the lunar explorer KAGUYA -- the Laser Altimeter (LALT) and sounder mode of the Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS).
The LRS system transmits RF pulses with frequency of 5 MHz which is able to penetrate deep into the Moon's subsurface region. When the radio waves meet with the discontinuity of subsurface material, it makes a subsurface echo signal. Observation of subsurface signal makes it possible to see subsurface structure of the Moon.


LRS uses two sets of 30m tip-to-tip long dipole antennas for the 5 MHz radar observation.




Initial results on the lunar subsurface structure were obtained using the LRS sounder mode observation data collected on November 20 and 21, 2007. The received radar echo was as expected through computer simulation. The extraction of radar echoes reflected by subsurface structures was demonstrated to be satisfactory.

In addition to the conventional sounding technique that tests echo trace in the plots like Figures 1 and 2, a new method that uses not only the amplitudes of the echoes but also their phases was proved feasible. This method utilizes the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technique with foci of variable depths and ensures robust detection of radar echoes from subsurface structures.



1 - Simulated radar echoes

Simulated radar echoes to be observed by the KAGUYA (left) as it travels over the model surface structure (right) (Kobayashi et al. 2002). In the diagram, vertical and horizontal axes correspond to the apparent depth and positional offset, respectively, and coded in color is the amplitude of radar echo. The apparent depth is the delay timing divided by the speed of light. In the 2-D diagram, echoes from large craters appear as hyperbolic coherent features, while surface clatters from numerous small craters appear as random noise near the surface. The targeted radar echoes from subsurface structures appear as continuous features with nearly constant depths. Subsurface echoes can be detected in this manner.


2 - Observed radar echoes taken with the LRS near the Poisson crater (30.4S, 10.6E) on November 20, 2007, in a 20 second period from 18:22:50 to 18:23:10.
( Full size image )

These agree with the simulated echoes in the previous figure in the following aspects:
- Trace and amplitude variation of the surface crater echoes in the 2-D diagram.
- Behavior of the surface clatters (unwanted radar echoes caused by adjacent craters that interfere with the detection of subsurface echoes, particularly in highland regions).
These ensure validity of the new data analysis method established with the computer simulation results. Here both crater echoes and surface clatters are classified as interference due to surface reflection, and we refer to the coherent echoes as "crater echoes" and the incoherent ones as "surface clatters".



3 - The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image and strata identification of the northeastern part of the Mare Imbrium near the Kirch crater (39.2N, 5.6W, 11 km dia.) retrieved from the LRS sounder mode observation data on November 21, 2007, from 22:13 to 22:15.

(Full size image)

Shown in the upper left panel are results of the SAR detection of reflective subsurface structures down to 500 m by focusing on relatively shallow regions. The depth refers to the 1737.4 km sphere centered at the center of the mass of the Moon. Red lines in the lower left panel show evident reflecting interfaces in the section, which is 180 km long. True dips of the interfaces are very small, as those sections are vertically exaggerated by a factor of ~30. This means that the mare is underlain by horizontally lying strata as thick as 500 m, probably composed of lava, volcanic ashe and ejecta blankets. This experiment verified the performance of the LRS sounder mode observation, and at the same time provided direct evidence for the existence of depositional units underneath the Mare Imbrium.

Source: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 07:52 PM
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P.S.: if the post before my last one won't be DELETED, this will be my last post in this thread, plain and simple



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:41 AM
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^^
And why's that?

Come April, there will a new mission launch(hopefully) and till then Kayuga will keep spilling data..



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 02:33 PM
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Why after all of these years are we returning to the Moon?

Well the price per a pound of payload has dropped in price.
We know far more about the Moon today then in the past.
NASA will get to do some real science on the Moon and American companies will get to gain experience with lunar operations.
The Moon is untouched and loaded with natural resources and everyone wants to stake a claim. Just look back at history; the same sort of thing happened with the discovery of the New World by the Europeans.

Just wait for the great land grab !



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 03:02 PM
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internos, it is not in my power to delete such garbage, and the T&C allows posters to have opinions. But any of us with good sense knows that this is a trash comment.

It would be a shame for you to be driven from the thread by the chattering of those unable to control their juvenile outbursts. Believe me when I say that this poster is nowhere in your league.

That post is a cry for attention by someone that knows no other way.

I urge you not to be hasty.



posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 06:51 AM
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Edit because another juvenile poster bit the dust, so what I said about his/her mental state is no longer relevant.

[edit on 25-1-2008 by NGC2736]



posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by NGC2736
internos, it is not in my power to delete such garbage, and the T&C allows posters to have opinions. But any of us with good sense knows that this is a trash comment.

It would be a shame for you to be driven from the thread by the chattering of those unable to control their juvenile outbursts. Believe me when I say that this poster is nowhere in your league.

That post is a cry for attention by someone that knows no other way.

I urge you not to be hasty.

Thank you: and thanks to the staff for having removed it. I would like to point out that i'm always against every form of censorship: but this isn't a matter of opinions, if you ask me. I think tyhat mental illnesses require DOCTORS, not forums: one can troll and feel better for five minutes, but his mental issues will come back again in a short time, because IT WORKS SO. So let's ignore these ones and let's carry on: now Jaxa is entering in the most important phase of operations and i WANT TO SHARE the available data with ATSers. Much more than a idiot is needed in order to stop us in denying ignorance. We're too strong for them.



[edit on 25/1/2008 by internos]



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 11:19 PM
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NASA's Newest Concept Vehicle Takes Off-Roading Out of This World

HOUSTON - In a car commercial, it would sound odd: active suspension, six-wheel drive with independent steering for each wheel, no doors, no windows, no seats and the only color available is gold.

But NASA's latest concept vehicle is meant to go way off-road, as in 240,000 miles from the nearest pavement, and drive on the moon. NASA is working to send astronauts to the moon by 2020 to set up a lunar outpost, where they will do scientific research and prepare for journeys to more distant destinations.

Built at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, the new design is one concept for a future lunar truck. The vehicle provides an idea of what the transportation possibilities may be when astronauts start exploring the moon. Other than a few basic requirements, the primary instruction given to the designers was to throw away assumptions made on NASA's previous rovers and come up with new ideas.

Read complete article here





posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 12:24 AM
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Starred and flagged you. Great thread. very detailed.


Cant wait for all of that to happen!



posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 02:02 PM
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Update from JAXA

Jaxa released an Apollo 17 landing site image taken by HDTV
The image was taken on November 19, 2007 and released on March 6, 2008

wms.selene.jaxa.jp...
Image caption: Around the landing site of The Apollo 17


Other images from HDTV - last release: (in counter-chronological order)

Around Mendeleev - Taken on December 7, 2007
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...

Northwest edge of south pole - Aitken - Taken on December 5, 2007
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...

Southwest side of south pole - Aitken - Taken on December 5, 2007
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...

Around Leibnitz - Taken on December 4, 2007
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...


Jaxa released KAGUYA First report on LALT (Laser altimeter)
The height profiles of the central peak observed by LALT





The Laser Altimeter (LALT) data taken from November 26 (Japan Standard Time, all the following dates and times are JST), 2007, was analyzed.
The LALT is a ranging instrument that emits a laser beam to the lunar surface and measures the distance to it from the main orbiter by the timing delay of the reflected light. The LALT is expected to obtain a global and precise topographic data set of the Moon, including the polar regions with a latitude higher than 75 degrees that have never been explored by previous satellites. This data set, in combination with the high-spatial-resolution stereoscopic observation data to be taken with the Terrain Camera (TC), will compose the first complete, precise, and
high-spatial-resolution topographic map of the Moon.
Among data taken since November 26, 2007, Figure 1 shows the topography of the Mare Orientale deduced from the observation data taken on December 12 and 25, 2007. This demonstrates that the LALT can obtain high-accuracy topographic data.

wms.selene.jaxa.jp...




image shows the cross-section diagram (yellow) of LALT data passing over the Orientale Basin. Values in the diagram show the difference between mean distance from the center of the Moon and the surface topography derived from LALT data.
Cross-section plot shows good correlation with the pocket shape of Orientale Basin.

Full size image
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...
Source:
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...






This figure show the height profiles of Theophilus crater (11.4S / 26.4 E)
observed by LALT sensor taken at January 12 and 26 (Universal Time), 2008. The topographic height of lunar surface was determined by the base sphere with a radius of 1737.4 km from the center of gravity of the Moon.
Theophilus is the most northern part of three craters (Catharina, Cyrillus,
Theophilus) which located in the west side of the Mare Nectaris, and its rim
erode a part of Cyrillus's rim. The diameter of the Theophilus is approximately 100 km, and is known for its grandeur as Copernicus and Tycho. The LALT data clearly shows the quantitative features of the Theophilus as follows; (1) The height of its rim (approximately 2000 m at the north side). (2) The depth of the bottom of crater from the rim (approximately 5000 m). (3) The height of the central peak from the bottom of crater (approximately 2000 m).

Full size image
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...
Read more here:
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...





The image shows the cross-section diagram (yellow) of the LALT data passing over the Theophilus Crater (one example of several data in previous page). Values in the diagram show the difference between mean distance from the center of the Moon and the surface topography derived from LALT data. The figure is the cross-section plot of the Theophilus Crater, and reveals the following features. (1) The height of its rim (approximately 2000 m at the north side). (2) The depth of the bottom of crater from the rim (approximately 5000 m). (3) The height of the central peak (approximately 2000 m). (4) The gaps of altitudes between northern and southern rims. (5) The flat interior of the crater, and (6) the complex structure of the central peak.

Full size image
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...
Source:
wms.selene.jaxa.jp...

CRedits: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency




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