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Giant Moon Rrater Revealed in Spectacular Up-Close photos & Video (you'll love it)

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posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 09:19 PM

Spectacular new images of a gigantic crater on the moon were captured recently by a low-skimming NASA satellite.

In November 2011, the space agency's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft passed over the moon's Aristarchus crater, which spans 25 miles (40 kilometers) and sinks more than 2 miles (3.5 kilometers) deep. Photos and video of the crater from LRO's sweep were released Dec. 25.

"The spacecraft was only 26 km (16.2 miles) above the surface; about two times lower than normal," Mark Robinson, principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera at Arizona State University, wrote in a NASA post. "For a sense of scale, that altitude is only a little over twice as high as commercial jets fly above the Earth!" The spot offers some fantastic, and scientifically interesting, scenery.


Just simply fascinating. Sit back and enjoy. I'm sorry to say you won't see any Space Ships or Bases.... Well, most of you won't. We'll have to wait and see what some may come up with.....

It seems like every since the Indians said they had proof of water on the moon and that they were heading there (along iwth China) that the US had suddenly step up it's efforts to be the Big Boy on the Block.

Time will tell. I can't help but feel that NASA has to have something up it's sleeve. Thoughts?

posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 09:30 PM
Now that's a really bold orbital ellipse. I'm glad they are pushing the envelop of collision near the end of missions. LRO was not expected to reach as such a low altitude as 30 some miles above at the closest.

I suspect at 16 miles above an Apollo landing site we could see the cameras they left there in the regolith.

posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 11:52 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

I'm sure hoping we see something of substance being that close and all.

I mean come on. You would think NASA would make it a point to go to those locations
and saying "SEE, WE did go there and back..."

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 12:42 AM
reply to post by anon72

Yup. But there was no special effort involved. The LRO just happened to pass over the LZs

edit on 1/7/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 07:26 AM
reply to post by Phage

Not a specific effort to get to that crater. Back to the moon-with such vigor. Ten to one, that if the Chinese/Russian/ or whoever heads to the moon.

We'll be there first.... now. Before when it appeared no one was going to be going there anytime soon... they were a bit cocky (NASA). Now... who knows... other than to say there appears to be a greater interest in the moon since other countries are on the verge of getting there themselves (or the abiltiy to study the Moon and prove or disprove what NASA has been saying for years.

Example. There is no water on the moon. It isn't possible....

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 01:45 PM
reply to post by anon72

It's interesting what you say. I don't doubt for a second that suddenly the appearance of "lunar dominance" will become significant to the U.S. Any other BS like, "there's no water on The Moon," will need amending in the near future if NASA are to continue to look credible.

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 02:17 PM
reply to post by Pimander

Except that the presence of water has been confirmed some time ago through the use of improved sensors.

edit on 1/7/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 08:35 PM
reply to post by Phage

OK, I admit they found some before and that was playing journalistic games for effect.... However, I do have a feeling the new kids on the block will influence they the U.S. space game and associated public image are played. I could be wrong but I'm not alone

edit on 7/1/12 by Pimander because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 10:06 AM
OK, I admit they found some before and that was playing journalistic games for effect.... However, I do have a feeling the new kids on the block will influence how the U.S. space game and associated public image are played. I could be wrong but I'm not alone.

In English this time.

posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by anon72

Really nice image and video and those sent me reading up on the crater.

It does not seem that water is of interest here, but rather the possibility of explaining the high incident rate of transient lunar phenomena in that crater.

Out-gassing? Electrostatic activity?

For your back yard telescope or armchair bound Google Earth/Moon viewing pleasure, the coordinates are:

23.7°N 47.4°W

From the Apollo 11 transcript:

03 04 57 07 CC Roger. And we've got an observation you can make if you have some time up
there. There's been some lunar transient events reported in the vicinity of
Aristarchus. Over.
03 04 57 28 LMP Roger. We just went into spacecraft darkness. Until then, why, we couldn't see
a thing down below us. But now, with earthshine, the visibility is pretty fair. Looking
back behind me, now, I can see the corona from where the Sun has just set. And
we'll get out the map and see what we can find around Aristarchus
03 04 57 54 CDR We're coming upon Aristarchus right now - -
03 04 57 55 CC - - Okay. Aristarchus is at angle Echo 9 on your ATO chart. It's about 394 miles
north of track. However, at your present altitude, which is about 167 nautical
miles, it ought to be over - that is within view of your horizon: 23 degrees north,
47 west. Take a look and see if you see anything worth noting up there. Over.
03 04 58 34 CDR Both looking.
03 04 58 36 CC Roger. Out.
03 05 03 01 LMP Houston, 11. It might help us a little bit if you could give us a time of crossing of
45 west.
03 05 03 09 CC Say again, please, 11.
03 05 03 23 LMP You might give us a time of crossing of 45 west, and then we'll know when to
start searching for Aristarchus.
03 05 03 32 CC Roger. You'll be crossing 45 west at 77 04 10 or about 40 seconds from now. Over.
Thirty seconds from now.
03 05 03 45 LMP Okay.
03 05 04 50 CC Apollo 11, when we lose the S-band, we'd like to get OMNI Charlie from you.
And update my last, that 77 04 was the time when Aristarchus should
become visible over your horizon. 77 12 is point of closest approach south of it.
03 05 05 14 LMP Okay. That sounds better because we just went by Copernicus a little bit ago.
03 05 05 18 CC Roger. We show you at about 27 degrees longitude right now.
03 05 05 25 LMP Righto.
03 05 07 07 LMP Houston, when a star sets up here, there's no doubt about it. One instant it's there, and the next instant it's just completely gone.
03 05 07 16 CC Roger. We copy.
03 05 09 21 CC Apollo 11, this is Houston. We request you use OMNI Charlie at this time. Over.
03 05 09 29 LMP Okay. Going to OMNI Charlie.
03 05 09 32 CC Roger. Out.
03 05 11 57 LMP Houston, Apollo 11.
03 05 12 01 CC Apollo 11, this is Houston. Go ahead.
03 05 12 06 LMP Roger. Seems to me since we know orbits so precisely, and know where the stars are so precisely, and the time of setting of a star or a planet to so very fine a
degree, that this might be a pretty good means of measuring the altitude of the
horizon ...
03 05 12 32 CC Roger.
03 05 12 51 CMP Hey, Houston. I'm looking north up toward Aristarchus now, and I can't really tell at that distance whether I am really looking at Aristarchus, but there's an area that
is considerably more illuminated than the surrounding area. It just has - seems to
have a slight amount of fluorescence to it. A crater can be seen, and the area
around the crater is quite bright.
03 05 13 30 CC Roger, 11. We copy.
03 05 14 23 LMP Houston, Apollo 11. Looking up at the same area now and it does seem to be
reflecting some of the earthshine. I'm not sure whether it was worked
out to be about zero phase to - Well, at least there is one wall of the crater that
seems to be more illuminated than the others, and that one - if we are lining up
with the Earth correctly, does seem to put it about at zero phase. That area is
definitely lighter than anything else that I could see out this window. I am not sure
that I am really identifying any phosphorescence, but that definitely is lighter than
anything else in the neighborhood.
03 05 15 15 CC 11, this is Houston. Can you discern any difference in color of the illumination,
and is that an inner or an outer wall from the crater? Over.
03 05 15 34 CMP Roger. That's an inner wall of the crater.
03 05 15 43 LMP No, there doesn't appear to be any color involved in it, Bruce.
03 05 15 47 CC Roger. You said inner wall. Would that be the inner edge of the northern surface?
03 05 16 00 CMP I guess it would be the inner edge of the westnorthwest part, the part that would be more nearly normal if you were looking at it from the Earth.

Cool, huh?

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