Posts Tagged ‘Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

The Moon’s Permanently Shadowed Regions

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craterAs you watch the Moon over the course of a month, you’ll notice that different features are illuminated by the Sun at different times. However, there are some parts of the Moon that never see sunlight. These areas are called permanently shadowed regions, and they appear dark because unlike on the Earth, the axis of the Moon is nearly perpendicular to the direction of the sun’s light. The result is that the bottoms of certain craters are never pointed toward the Sun, with some remaining dark for over two billion years. However, thanks to new data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we can now see into these dark craters in incredible detail.

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Written by physicsgg

March 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm

LRO Spectrometer Detects Helium in Moon’s Atmosphere

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Artist’s rendering of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

Scientists using the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) spectrometer aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have made the first spectroscopic observations of the noble gas helium in the tenuous atmosphere surrounding the moon….
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Written by physicsgg

August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm

LROC Explores Aristarchus Crater

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Space probe gets up close to lunar crater that is two miles deep and so huge it can be seen from Earth with the naked eye

  • Orbiter flies past just 16.2 miles up
  • Images of crater twice as deep as Grand Canyon
  • Shows layers of minerals like strip mines on Earth

Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over the moon at just 16.2 miles up to capture shots of the huge Aristarchus crater on the moon - a feature so massive it's visible to the naked eye, created when a huge comet or asteroid slammed into a plateau on the surface

Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over at just 16 miles up, just over twice the height that jets fly on Earth - twice as low as the orbiter normally flies. The cliffs of Aristarchus are more than two miles high - twice as deep as the Grand Canyon

The ledges forming the wall of the crater, which look a lot like those of a strip mine, are blocks of surface rocks that slumped into the crater during the late stages of its formation

This Hubble colour composite focuses on the Aristarchus impact crater, and uses colour information across the ultraviolet and infrared to accentuate differences between minerals

Pyroclastic beads (volcanic glasses formed during fire-fountain style eruptions similar to those of Stromboli or the Hawaiian Islands) that blanket the area around the crater have slid down parts of the walls in dark streaks and clumps

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Written by physicsgg

January 3, 2012 at 11:16 am