Jim Garvin's Top "Pics" - LROC Images



Transcripts of G2014-012_JGTopPics-Lroc_MASTER_youtube_hq

Hi, I'm NASA scientist Jim Garvin. Today I'd like to share with you, some of the most stunning, evocative pictures taken throughout the universe. These are my top "pics." (Music) Today's segment flies us to the Moon, revealing images captured by LROC - the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Since 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft has been mapping the Moon. Here are my top five favorite images. Number five: Aristarchus. What you're seeing here is Mother Nature's expression of a gigantic landform made by a cosmic collision: an impact crater. Fourteen thousand feet of relief is shown in this picture. The inner wall slopes of this giant impact crater expressing rocks that have been excavated from beneath the lunar crust, shown for the first time here by Mother Nature. This is how the solar system works. Moving on to number four: the lunar South Pole. In this image you see what may be the the coldest place in the solar system. In the shadows of the craters you see here, the temperatures may be below twenty-five degree kelvin, colder than Pluto. In this image we also see places where there may be lurking the relics of ancient ices frozen in this part of the solar system, billions of years ago. Number three: Moon ejecta. In this image, almost reminiscent of abstract art, we see the process of impact cratering on the surface of the Moon in its most pristine state. We see how the dust and rocks that are displaced or excavated by this process are distributed on the lunar surface. This beautiful image shows us how that process works throughout the solar system. Onto number two: lunar pit craters. In this very revealing image, we see what is in effect a hole, showing a shadow, revealing the underside of the lunar crust, by a process that we think is associated with collapse. Perhaps collapse over an ancient river of lava that flowed on the Moon long ago, revealing for us subterranean tunnels. This spectacular image really suggests for us new environments on the moon, those not at the surface, very worthy of future exploration. And the top spot goes to the Tycho impact crater - formed by a colossal cosmic collision on the Moon around the time that dinosaurs roamed here on Earth. And as we zoom in on the picture, we can see the consequences of that giant impact process; producing for us fifteen thousand foot mountain reminiscent of the biggest on Earth. At the top of which are giant rocks, big blocks the size of buildings, displaced by Mother Nature instantly. This is Mother Nature at her best. So those are my top "pics" from LROC. I'm Jim Garvin, signing off. (beeping)