Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

Peeking out of the shadows

A crater rim peeking out of the shadows, captured as LRO passed over the lunar terminator [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Many of the engineering test images collected on Tuesday were rather unimpressive to look at - no features at all could be discerned because they were taken in complete darkness, just before dawn. Even still, they provided a wealth of information about things like the background noise of the CCDs and the temperature variations of the cameras that will help us ensure that future images are spectacular. Because LRO's orbit was so close to the terminator, we did get lucky and capture some beautiful images of crater rims and peaks just beginning to peek out of the shadows. In this image, the LRO spacecraft was looking down from an altitude of 187 km to see the sun rising on a new lunar day near the crater Goldschmidt D. Only a small portion of a crater rim caught the sun while everything around it remained in darkness. Browse the whole NAC image!


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