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The extraordinary face of the Moon

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posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:47 PM
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Large resolution image of the near side of the moon. When i say large i mean large the full image is 550MB.

Full Size Version ~550MB

1400 x 1400 Size version




From Article:-




Seen the full Moon lately? Maybe you have, but I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never seen it like this:

Sure, that may just look like another full Moon picture, but it’s much more extraordinary than that: it’s one of the highest resolution pictures of the entire near side of the Moon ever compiled!

This is actually a mosaic of about 1300 separate images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Wide-Angle Camera — the total size is a whopping 24,000 x 24,000 pixels, producing a resolution of about 145 meters/pixel. The full-size version is a monster 550 Mb TIF file (seriously, don’t grab that one unless you need it!), and you can get a more palatable 1400 x 1400 pixel version with labels, too.

The images were taken over the course of two weeks in December 2010. LRO is in a polar orbit around the Moon — think of it as moving in a north/south direction over the surface instead of east/west. Over time, as the Moon rotates underneath it, LRO can see the entire surface of the Moon. As it does this, the angle of sunlight changes, so care had to be taken when creating this mosaic to make it appear seamless; otherwise shadows would appear to jump suddenly from point to point. If you look carefully you’ll see where shadows point in different directions, but it still looks pretty natural.

But it’s not: when you see the full Moon from Earth, that means the Sun is shining straight down on the Moon — the Earth is essentially directly between the Moon and Sun. That means you don’t see any shadows on the surface when the Moon is full. Pictures of it taken from Earth look flat in that case, because our eyes and brains look to shadows to sense the topographical relief — the ups and downs in the surface. But this image shows those shadows, making it a unique view of the full Moon.

But it’s also one of the highest resolution image ever made too! You can appreciate that if you look at the full-res 145 meters/pixel zoom-and-panable version, which is simply extraordinary. From the Earth, the sharpest view we can get when taking pictures of the Moon is limited by the roiling air above our heads; the smallest features we can see are roughly a kilometer or so across (sometimes it can be better when the air is steady, but not by a whole lot). Even if we pointed Hubble at the Moon the best it can do is about 200 meters. And even then it would take a lot of images to cover the entire lunar surface.

The only way to get better pictures is to go to the Moon! And that’s why these LRO images are so cool. Other missions have gone to the Moon, such as Clementine, the Lunar Orbiters, and Chandrayaan-1. These all produced high-resolution images as well, comparable and in some ways superior to what LRO has done. But it’s actually a bit difficult to find images from those missions put together into one, easy-to-view picture, though.

I downloaded the ginormous TIF image, and wow, scanning it is amazing. I saw crater chains (like in the image inset above; I suspect that actually formed from material ejected from an impact just off the frame to the upper right), cliffs, rilles, and tons of other amazing details. I’ve spent a lot of time at the eyepiece looking at the Moon, but I’ve never seen it like this. The detail is amazing, and the shadowing provides a sense of depth you just can’t get when observing the full Moon from home. It’s beautiful.

And if your brain is still intact after all that, I’ll note that the camera used to take this mosaic weighs only 900 grams — 2 pounds! And it would fit in the palm of your hand.

Amazing. And that’s all it took to get — wait for it, wait for it — the full Moonty.

So my advice: take a little time and peruse the zoomable version online, and pretend you’re floating over the lunar surface*. And remember: one day people will get to see this not on their computers, but by the simple act of turning their heads and looking out their window.


Downloading now might have a quick sweep to see if it turns up any anomalies or interesting objects/artifacts.

Happy hunting




posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:50 PM
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Interesting that most of the impacts have occured on it's opposite poles in relation to us.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:52 PM
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Those are some aswesome pics, your avatar is bad ass too..



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by Tephra
Interesting that most of the impacts have occured on it's opposite poles in relation to us.


I know the moon lacks a magnetic field like Earth's but it could be these are the most magnetic regiosn (pulling in asteroids?)




There are magnetic fields on the moon, but the moon as a whole lacks a magnetic field like the earth's. The earth's magnetic field is believed to be generated around the core by dynamo action. However it's generated, the earth's field is a planet-wide phenomenon to which a compass can be applied to find direction. The moon has no molten core. It has "pockets" or "areas" of "local" magnetism based on the distributed material in the crust, and on the small magnetic fields present in the alloys of ferromagnetic material there. Bottom line, you can't get around on the moon using a compass if you don't wanna get lost.

Read more: wiki.answers.com...




posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by logicalthinking
Those are some aswesome pics, your avatar is bad ass too..


Thanks.


Wondering if anyone is attempting to pull the large 550MB - would be cool to see what we can find if anything.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:58 PM
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Looking at it makes me wonder for the first time why there are so many craters clustered around the south pole, assuming north is at the top.

Gravity anomalies?

A denser patch of space rocks coming from that direction?

An interesting puzzle.

Anyone know the answer?



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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nice pictures.....


but what i want to know is... where are the alien/nazi bases...



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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Attempting to download but all i'm getting is a Quicktime symbol in the middle of my screen.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by aRogue
 


Not sure if you're on a Mac, but just right-click and 'save-as' will do the trick. You can let the QT logo sit there and wait for it to show up in your browser and save it to disk then... I just downloaded the 550mb file - looks friggen cool!

Edit:

Not sure why the poles are so distorted. Looks like a map streched over a 3D sphere now

edit on 23-2-2011 by snewpers because: no reason



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:43 PM
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Nah, i'm on a PC. Whenever i right click, it comes up with "About Quicktime Plugin" and "Pro-Save as Source" etc but that's blanked out as i'm not a Quicktime Pro User.

Thanks for the quick reply too btw. Many thanks.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by aRogue
 


Save as source should do the trick.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by aRogue
 


Fix- If you are using Firefox try this.

Go to TOOLS > OPTIONS

Click the APPLICATIONS tab

Scroll Down till you see under CONTENT TYPE > TIFF IMAGE FILE

Click on the right column ACTION and select it to ALWAYS ASK or SAVE FILE

Go back to the image click the LINK, you should be prompted to save file or open with . I recommend saving to desktop.

Hopefully that helps.

edit on 23-2-2011 by StealthKix because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by Misterlondon
nice pictures.....


but what i want to know is... where are the alien/nazi bases...


hidden, duh......



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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awesome pic man
so what are all these circles on the moon
looks like meteotite impacts to me
doea anyone know?



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 07:13 PM
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Originally posted by StealthKix
Large resolution image of the near side of the moon.
Happy hunting


Here is a link to an interactive, pan & zoomable version.


Originally posted by icecold7
awesome pic man
so what are all these circles on the moon
looks like meteotite impacts to me
doea anyone know?


Yes, all of those are meteorite impact craters.


Originally posted by Tephra
Interesting that most of the impacts have occured on it's opposite poles in relation to us.



Originally posted by apacheman
Looking at it makes me wonder for the first time why there are so many craters clustered around the south pole, assuming north is at the top.

Gravity anomalies?

A denser patch of space rocks coming from that direction?

An interesting puzzle.

Anyone know the answer?


It's even more interesting than that: The heavily-cratered areas are actually what's normal.

When we look at other moons and planets in our solar system that - like our Moon - lack an atmosphere or active geology (i.e. volcanoes and/or plate tectonics), what we see is a surface saturated with craters.

Mercury, Callisto, Phoebe and Mimas, to name a few, all show countless craters shoulder-to-shoulder, and a few, randomly-placed big whacks that "reset" large areas. Note that on worlds that have higher gravity than the Moon (like Mercury & Callisto), the craters tend to be shallower (i.e. more filled-in because the higher gravity pulls-down the rims), whereas on the lighter-gravity orbs like Phoebe & Mimas, they tend to be proportionally deeper than what we see on Luna. Also, the larger bodies (such as the Moon, Mercury Mars, & Callisto) either have or had liquid under the surface (magma in the rocky worlds, water in the icy ones) that, when the "big whacks" came, filled-in the large impact basins, creating the smooth(ish) "seas" like those that dominate our Moon's near side (see the OP image).

The far side of our Moon shows the same pattern. The mystery is, why does Luna have so many large impact basins, and why are they mostly grouped on one side, instead of distributed randomly? It may be related to how our Moon formed from the debris of a planetary collision, but we need a lot more data (read: Moon rocks) before we can solve this puzzle.
edit on 23-2-2011 by Saint Exupery because: I had to fix a link.



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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If there is only one side of the moon we ever see from Earth and it is cratered, then what have we been shooting at it? Seriosly though, are those craters caused from some kind of debris ejection from something impacting earth? Or are these from near earth misses that come in at an angle and strike the moon instead of us? I guess I'd better start reading up on things like this, eh?



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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I know the moon lacks a magnetic field like Earth's but it could be these are the most magnetic regiosn (pulling in asteroids?)


It's mainly gravity (not magnetism) what "pulls" asteroids.
Great pics. Thanks for sharing

edit on 24-2-2011 by AboveTheTrees because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by Christarella
If there is only one side of the moon we ever see from Earth and it is cratered, then what have we been shooting at it? Seriosly though, are those craters caused from some kind of debris ejection from something impacting earth? Or are these from near earth misses that come in at an angle and strike the moon instead of us? I guess I'd better start reading up on things like this, eh?


The Earth neither shields the Moon from, nor increases the chance of, meteorite hits. From a strictly probabilistic aspect, the Earth has just as much chance of deflecting a rock towards the Moon as away from it. Even then, a gravitational "bank-shot" off the Earth is unlikely to hit the Moon, because they are pretty far apart in relation to their size. If you wanted to model the distance using a 12" globe of the Earth, the Moon would be the size of a baseball (3") thirty feet away.

Something like this:

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edit on 24-2-2011 by Saint Exupery because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 06:52 PM
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Great picture OP! Whether the moon is a satellite or not it's sure a beautiful piece of rock



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