posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Dominar
But why does the terrain look so different between the two images of the exact same area, is it just a trick of light/shadow and elevation/depth, from
different pictures takes at different times?
That's what it is. It kind of blew my mind when I first started looking at the Apollo Mapping Camera images. The lunar plains look
because the low contrast of the lunar soil hides the relief. Only when you get a low sun angle can you see just how rugged the surface really is.
Here are three images of the area around Euler crater taken by Apollo 17's Mapping Camera (open them in separate windows so you can compare):
1972-12-16T04:57:00 (~8 hours after the first image)
1972-12-16T20:48:20 (~16 hours after the second image)
You can use the zoomable interface to find your area-of-interest to the southeast of the crater.
Zoom in on the west (left) side of the picture, where the sun-angle is lowest. Notice that the mountains on the lower left cast very long shadows in
the first image (leading some to mistakenly call them "spires"). As the sun gets higher in the subsequent images, the shadows quickly shorten and
disappear. This causes a different "illusion" - That the lunar surface is smooth!
Hope this helps
(P.S. I love your frelling user name!)
edit on 15-6-2013 by Saint Exupery because: corrected spelling. Damn homophones!