NASA has released stunning images of the moon’s dim south pole

Obtain high-resolution images of permanently shaded areas, which never receive direct sunlight, to support science and exploration planning for Artemis and robotic missions.

since Danori entered lunar orbit last December, ShadowCam Photographs of the lunar regions were routinely taken North and South pole.

Antarctic Moon NASA 2.jpg

One of the first ShadowCam images from lunar orbit, rendered in more detail than ever before, is of the permanently shadowed crater wall and floor. shackleton, which is located near the South Pole.

The level of detail in this image is made possible by ShadowCam’s ability to work in very low light conditions: It is 200 times more sensitive than the narrow angle camera in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Although the Earth’s brightness is about ten times dimmer than the available illumination in the average region permanently shaded by sunlight reflected from lunar geological features, ShadowCam was still able to image the surface using Earth’s brightness, indicating the instrument’s ability to see the weakest areas. in Antarctica.

Moon South Pole NASA 1.webp

Two types of secondary lighting allow the ShadowCam to capture images in areas that do not receive direct sunlight. The first is terrestrial brightness, which illuminates the moon’s surface away from the poles with sunlight reflected from Earth. The second is the illumination that results from sunlight reflecting off nearby geological features, such as mountains and crater walls at the poles that are high enough above the surface to reflect direct sunlight.

Another image, taken in the latter type of lighting, shows the rim of Marvin crater, about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the south pole.

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ShadowCam will not be able to take pictures of Artemis astronauts walking on the surface of the Moon if they are exposed to direct sunlight because the strong light will saturate the images.

In another image, the shadow cast by Aristarchus at the central peak is of the brightness of the Earth showing that the Earth was 35 degrees above the horizon at the time. The different shades at the central peak are believed to represent different types of rock.


Lovell Loxley

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