This sample composite combines all the animation elements listed below to visually tell the story of permanent shadows on the Moon. The aquamarine areas highlight the permanently shadowed regions.
As the Earth and Moon orbit around the Sun, there are places on the Moon that never receive direct sunlight. Most of these permanently shadowed regions are at the lunar poles. This animation approximates the permanently shadowned regions pertaining to the Moon's south pole by maintaining a maximum sun angle to the surface of 1.5 degrees. These permanently shadowed areas are of interest because they could hold water ice. (NOTE: South Pole Digital Elevation Maps [DEM] based on publically released JAXA/Selene data.)
Zoom In: This animation begins with the full Moon in view and after one lunar cycle zooms in to the lunar south pole. (NOTE: The last frame of this animation matches the first frames of the "Bird's Eye View" and "Move to Tilted View".)
Bird's Eye View: With the camera looking straight down at the lunar south pole (Shackleton Crater is in the center of the screen) the light cycles one time around to show the full effect of shadows at the south pole. (NOTE: The first frame of this animation matches the last frame of "Zoom in" and the last frame matches the first frame of "Move to Tilted View".)
Move to Tilted View: In this part of the animation, the camera changes perspective from a straight down bird's eye view of the lunar south pole to a more angled look of the same area. (NOTE: The first frame of this seqence matches the last frames of "Zoom In" and "Bird's Eye View".)