Planets and Moons  ID: 4619

Tour of the Moon 4K Redux

In the fall of 2011, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission released its original Tour of the Moon, a five-minute animation that takes the viewer on a virtual tour of our nearest neighbor in space. Six years later, the tour has been recreated in eye-popping 4K resolution, using the same camera path and drawing from the vastly expanded data trove collected by LRO in the intervening years.

The tour visits a number of interesting sites chosen to illustrate a variety of lunar terrain features. Some are on the near side and are familiar to both professional and amateur observers on Earth, while others can only be seen clearly from space. Some are large and old (Orientale, South Pole-Aitken), others are smaller and younger (Tycho, Aristarchus). Constantly shadowed areas near the poles are hard to photograph but easier to measure with altimetry, while several of the Apollo landing sites, all relatively near the equator, have been imaged at resolutions as high as 25 centimeters (10 inches) per pixel.

The new tour highlights the mineral composition of the Aristarchus plateau, evidence for surface water ice in certain spots near the south pole, and the mapping of gravity in and around the Orientale basin.

Older Version


Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA): Lead Visualizer
David Ladd (USRA): Lead Producer
David Ladd (USRA): Lead Video Editor
Noah Petro (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Data Used:
LRO/LROC/Narrow Angle Camera
GRAIL/Lunar Gravity Ranging System/Free-Air Gravity
LRO/LOLA/Digital Elevation Map
LRO/SELENE/LOLA/TC/DIgital Elevation Model
LRO/LROC/WAC 643nm High Sun Global Mosaic
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.

SVS >> Elevation data
SVS >> Flyover
SVS >> Laser Altimeter
SVS >> Lunar
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE)
SVS >> Lunar Topography
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Lunar Surface
SVS >> Apollo 17
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> 4K