The most exciting images taken by LROC
, updated regularly.
Low-incidence angle image (~9°, near noon) of a curious mound on the floor of Firsov crater. Image width is 2.2 km [LROC NAC M187506567RNASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Exploring the Lunar Subsurface
What a great place to explore! Two collapsed segments of a lava tube run from the southwest to the northeast. These collapsed segments may provide access to the subsurface, which has never been directly sampled. The average width of the collapsed segments is ~650 meters. The lava tube is ~50 meters deep in this LROC NAC mosaic (M1165080128LR). Image width is approximately 7 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
LADEE Impact Crater Found!
LADEE impact site on the eastern rim of Sundman V crater, the spacecraft was heading west when it impacted the surface. The image was created by ratioing two images, one taken before the impact and another after the impact. The bright area shows the impact point and the ejecta (things that have changed between the time of the two images). The ejecta form a V shaped pattern extending to the northwest from the impact point. Ratio constructed with LROC images M1163066820RE and M1101816767RE (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University).
New Evidence For Young Lunar Volcanism!
One of many newly-discovered young volcanic deposits on the Moon (
), this example is near the crater Maskelyne. The direction of sunlight is from the right and north is up, NAC M1123370138R [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Casting a Long Shadow
Sun angle profoundly affects the surface features of the Chang'e 3 landing site. When the Sun is higher in the sky (low incidence angle), the tracks left by the Yutu rover and the bright blast zone around the lander are most visible. But when the Sun is lower in the sky (high incidence angle), the long distinctive shadows cast by the lander are more prominent. Each month when LROC acquired a new image of the landing site, the Sun's position in the sky was different. Images: M1147290066 (17 Feb 2014), M1149645693R (16 Mar 2014), M1152001999R (13 Apr 2014), and M1154358210R (10 May 2014); images are enlarged by a factor of two [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
The Chang'e 3 Landing Site in 3D
Slope map overlain on an LROC NAC image of the Chang'e 3 landing site at 44.12°N, 340.49°E in Mare Imbrium. The Chinese spacecraft landed just to the east of the large crater near the center. Slopes range from zero (blue) to above 15° (orange-red); derived from LROC NAC stereo images M1144922100 and M1144950543. The full scene is 3.3 km across [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Two-Planet Perspective from Lunar Orbit
Composite of Earth and Mars imaged in a single NAC frame on 24 May 2014. This amazing view of two planets was visible from lunar orbit when LROC pointed homeward! Mars is about 12 pixels wide; Earth was downscaled by a factor of eight to create this composite image; LROC NAC E1155564561 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Two Faces of Mars (from the Moon)
Moon-facing hemisphere of Mars on 8 May 2014 at 14:27:04 UTC seen from lunar orbit! Instruments on LRO sometimes use stars and planets for calibration or other special observations. During one of these off-Moon observations, LROC imaged Mars. This Moon-facing hemisphere of Mars has a dark (low albedo) feature on the west limb (left) that is Acidalia Planitia, and the bright (high albedo) region on the east limb (right) is Arabia Terra. LROC NAC M1154198455R is enlarged by a factor of 7 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Resolved Hapke Parameter Maps
LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) color composite mosaic of the Moon, photometrically normalized using new Hapke parameter maps. Red: 689 nm, green: 415 nm, and blue: 321 nm band; latitude 55°S to 55°N, longitude -68.6° to 41.4°E.
Another New Crater!
A new crater on the Moon! The bright flash of formation for this ~34 meter diameter crater was captured by an Earth based telescope on 11 September 2013. LROC M1151993656L, image is 1000 m wide [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].