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The Moon's South Pole in 3D via LRO/LOLA First Light Data

The Lunar Reconnaissance Oribiter (LRO) was launched on June 18, 2009. Its mission is to map the moon's surface, find safe landing sites, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology. One of the instruments on board is the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) which measures landing site slopes, lunar surface roughness, and has begun generation of a high resolution 3D map of the Moon. The animation depicted here is the beginning of LOLA's mapping project and shows the lunar south pole through digital elevation map data collected by the LOLA instrument during the spacecraft commissioning phase. During the commissioning phase, LRO was in a highly elliptical orbit coming closer to the lunar south pole than the north pole. Furthermore, since LOLA uses laser pulses to measure the surface, the accuracy of its measurements are greatly affected by the instrument's distance to the surface. This is why there is virtually no data of the lunar north pole, and much better coverage of the south pole.

The topographic data shown here is currently processed to show at approximately 30 meters per pixel.

The colors in this animation depict the relative heights of the lunar surface with respect to the surface mean. Warm colors (brown, red, magenta, and tan) indicate areas above the mean. Cooler colors (green, cyan, blue, and violet) are areas below the mean.

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This animation shows some of the first results of the LRO/LOLA instrument with labels over several craters.  As the virtual camera flies around the lunar south pole we not only get an indication of the moon's mysterious topography at this pole, but also a sense that this mission has just begun.    This animation shows some of the first results of the LRO/LOLA instrument with labels over several craters. As the virtual camera flies around the lunar south pole we not only get an indication of the moon's mysterious topography at this pole, but also a sense that this mission has just begun.
Duration: 1.3 minutes
Available formats:
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-4   59 MB
  1920x1080 (60 fps) MPEG-2   361 MB
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-2   361 MB
  512x288 (60 fps) MPEG-1   26 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   25 MB
  1920x1080 (60 fps) Frames (Crater labels)
  1920x1080 (30 fps) Frames (Crater labels)
  1920x1080 (60 fps) Frames (South pole flyover with craters labeled)
  1920x1080 (30 fps) Frames (South pole flyover with craters labeled)
  320x180     PNG           99 KB
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This animation shows some of the first results of the LRO/LOLA instrument without any labels.    This animation shows some of the first results of the LRO/LOLA instrument without any labels.
Duration: 1.3 minutes
Available formats:
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-4   59 MB
  1920x1080 (60 fps) MPEG-2   361 MB
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-2   361 MB
  512x288 (60 fps) MPEG-1   26 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   26 MB
  1920x1080 (60 fps) Frames (South pole flyover without labels)
  1920x1080 (30 fps) Frames (South pole flyover without labels)
How to play our movies



Colorbar for lunar elevations.
   Colorbar for lunar elevations.

Available formats:
  320 x 90           PNG       12 KB


Print resolution still of the moon with some early swaths of LOLA data.    Print resolution still of the moon with some early swaths of LOLA data.

Available formats:
  6400 x 3600     TIFF     10 MB


Print resolution still of the LRO/LOLA data swaths as they are laid out on the lunar surface.  Please note that for aesthetic purposes the swath widths are shown wider than actual.  The actual width of a swath is approximately 65 meters across.    Print resolution still of the LRO/LOLA data swaths as they are laid out on the lunar surface. Please note that for aesthetic purposes the swath widths are shown wider than actual. The actual width of a swath is approximately 65 meters across.

Available formats:
  6400 x 3600     TIFF     27 MB


Print resolution still over the lunar south pole.  Craters depicted in this image are Scott, Amundsen, Faustini, Shoemaker, Haworth, Malapert, Shackleton, and Wiechert.    Print resolution still over the lunar south pole. Craters depicted in this image are Scott, Amundsen, Faustini, Shoemaker, Haworth, Malapert, Shackleton, and Wiechert.

Available formats:
  6400 x 3600     TIFF     20 MB


Print resolution still of the lunar south pole.  Top down view of the south pole region.    Print resolution still of the lunar south pole. Top down view of the south pole region.

Available formats:
  6400 x 3600     TIFF     32 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3633
Animation Number:3633
Completed:2009-09-14
Animators:Alex Kekesi (GST) (Lead)
 Ernie Wright (UMBC)
 Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
 Marte Newcombe (GST)
Producer:Andrew Freeberg (NASA/GSFC)
Scientists:David Smith (NASA/GSFC)
 Gregory A. Neumann (NASA/GSFC)
Project Support:James W. Williams (GST)
 Eduardo Valente (GST)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:LRO/LOLA/Digital Elevation Map (2009/07/03 - 2009/08/12)
 Clementine/UVVIS Camera/750-nm Basemap (1994/02/26-1994/05/05)
Series:The Moon
 LRO - Animations
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> South Pole
SVS >> LRO
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> LOLA
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Craters
SVS >> Moon >> South Pole
SVS >> Topographical Map
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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