LROC PDS Release Number 5

LROC WAC mosaic centered on Orientale basin. From the center of the mosaic to a corner is about 2000 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The 5th LROC Planetary Data System (PDS) release includes images acquired between September 16, 2010 and December 15, 2010, during the Science mission phase. This release includes 69,505 Experiment Data Record (EDR) images totaling 8,498 Gbytes and 69,528 Calibrated Data Record (CDR) images totaling 17,651 Gbytes worth of data.

The LROC Team is also making its first Reduced Data Record (RDR) release this week, which represents a culmination of many months of work calibrating, map projecting, and creating mosaics and topographic maps from NAC and WAC images. The RDR release includes a global WAC monochrome mosaic, NAC mosaics for 40 regions of interest (ROI), numerous NAC DTM products, NAC North and South Polar mosaics, several example WAC UV and VIS regional mosaics, and over 8,000 WAC North and South Pole observations used to create movies of each poles lighting conditions over time. The RDR release totals over 8,400 images totaling over 2 Tbytes of data.

Today's Featured Image is an orthographic reprojection of the WAC global mosaic centered on the youngest large basin on the Moon, Orientale. This basin is barely visible on the western limb of the Moon as seen from the Earth. Its existence was not confirmed until spacecraft sent back images of the farside 50 years ago. Unlike other large basins, Orientale has very little volcanic materials filling its interior, so the basin structure is easily seen. The inner and outer basin rings are particulary obvious - imagine if the Moon were rotated 90° and the Orientale basin faced the Earth. What sort of mythology would have grown up around the great eyeball in the sky?

The new WAC Orientale mosaic also reveals striking detail in the far-flung ejecta blanket. Note the radial chains of secondary craters formed as large chunks of the Moon were thrown hundreds of kilometers! These same type of large impacts occurred on the Earth also - fortunately the era of heavy bombardment ended about 3.9 billion years ago!

Explore the Orientale basin at 100 m/pixel.

Revisit an early version of the WAC Orientale mosaic.

Published by Mark Robinson on 15 March 2011