Monday, March 24, 2014

Interactive Lunar Mosaic

Are you ready for some interactive spacey goodness? Stupid question, I know.

NASA recently released their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Northern Polar Mosaic (LNPM). Using two Narrow Angle Cameras aboard their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbitor (LRO) along with additional information about the moon's topography from LRO's Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and gravity information from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), they were able to create the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region. This mosaic is comprised of 10,581 six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images covering an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States. Put together, the entire image measures 931,070 pixels square. Do the math? That's almost 867 billion pixaels total!

And here's the interactive part: web viewers (that's you) can zoom in and out, and pan around an area. There is enough detail in these images that you can see textures and subtle shading of the lunar terrain, and the consistent lighting throughout the images makes it easy for you to compare different areas.

Also check out more information about LRO at NASA's LRO website

and look through the complete collection of LROC Images

and NASA's Press Release "NASA Releases First Interactive Mosaic of Lunar North Pole"

(image via NASA's press release)

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