Planets and Moons  ID: 4156

LRO and the Lunar Eclipse of April 15, 2014: Telescopic View

Dial-A-Moon

UT Hour: Minute: Second:



Typically, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft flies over the night side of the Moon every two hours, spending about 45 minutes in darkness. Because LRO is powered by sunlight, it uses a rechargeable battery to operate while on the night side of the Moon and then charges the battery when it comes back around into daylight.

During the total lunar eclipse of April 15, 2014, however, LRO emerges from the night side of the Moon only to find the Sun blocked by the Earth. LRO needs to travel an entire orbit before seeing the Sun again, relying continuously on its battery for almost three hours, longer than it ever has before.

LRO won’t be in any real danger as long as its power consumption is handled carefully. Its scientific instruments will be turned off temporarily, while vital subsystems like the heater will remain on. LRO will be closely monitored throughout the eclipse.

This animation shows the Moon as it might look through a telescope on Earth, with LRO’s orbit, its view of the Sun, and a fuel gauge showing received sunlight and the battery’s charge.

 

Related


For More Information

Lunar Eclipse Gallery


Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA): Lead Animator
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Producer
David Ladd (USRA): Producer
Michelle Handleman (USRA): Producer
John Keller (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Noah Petro (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Michelle Thaller (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems Inc.): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems Inc.): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4156

Mission:
LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Data Used:
JPL DE421
LRO/LROC/WAC 643nm High Sun Global Mosaic
LRO/LOLA/Digital Elevation Map
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:
The Moon
LRO - Animations

Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Lunar
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> LRO
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> Eclipse
SVS >> Lunar Eclipse
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons