Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Moon News .




MOON DAILY
ASU camera creates stunning mosaic of moon's polar region
by Staff Writers
Tempe AZ (SPX) Mar 25, 2014


LROC northern polar mosaic with three levels of zoom-down into Thales crater. Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), run by the Arizona State University-based team under professor Mark Robinson, released what very well may be the largest image mosaic available on the web. This map offers a complete picture of the moon's northern polar region in stunning detail.

On December 11, 2011, after two and a half years in a near-circular polar orbit, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) entered an elliptical polar orbit, with the periapsis (point where the LRO is closest to the surface) near the south pole, and the apoapsis (point where LRO is furthest from the surface) near the north pole of the moon.

The increased altitude over the northern hemisphere enables the two narrow angle cameras and the wide angle camera to capture more terrain in each image acquired in the northern hemisphere.

The resulting LROC northern polar mosaic is comprised of 10,581 narrow angle camera images, collected over four years, and covers the latitude range of zero to 60 degrees north.

In the fall of 2010, the LROC team produced its first mosaic of the moon's northern polar region, but it doesn't even compare to this new mosaic, with its 50-times-higher resolution, and over 680 gigapixels of valid image data covering a region of the moon slightly larger than the combined area of Alaska and Texas - at a resolution of 2 meters per pixel.

To create the mosaic, each LROC narrow angle camera image was map projected on a 30-meters-per-pixel lunar orbiter laser altimeter-derived digital terrain model using a software package (written by the United States' Geological Survey) called Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers.

The northern polar mosaic was assembled from individual "collar" mosaics. Each collar mosaic was acquired by imaging the same latitude once every two-hour orbit for a month, during which time the rotation of the moon steadily brought every longitude into view. Each collar mosaic has very similar lighting from start to end, and covers 1 to 3 degrees of latitude.

The mosaic was originally assembled as 841 large tiles, due to the sheer volume of data. If the mosaic was processed as a single file, it would have been approximately 3.3 terabytes in size. Part of the large size is due to the incredible dynamic range of the narrow angle cameras. The raw images are recorded as 12-bit data (4,096 gray levels), then processed to normalized reflectance (a quantitative measure of the percentage of light reflected from each spot on the ground).

To preserve the subtle shading gradations of the raw images during processing, the narrow angle camera images are stored as 32-bit, floating-point values (millions of gray levels). The 32-bit values are four times the disk size of the finalized 8-bit (255 gray levels) representation most computers use to display grayscale images. The conversion process from 32-bit to 8-bit pixels results in saturation (a group of pixels all with the maximum value of 255) in the brightest areas.

Even with the conversion, the compressed JPEG images that make up the final product take up almost a terabyte of disk space.

In total, the massive mosaic required 17,641,035 small tiles to produce the final product.

"The (northern polar mosaic) is another example of LRO observations paving the way for science discoveries and future missions of exploration. Creation of this giant mosaic took four years and a huge team effort across the LRO project. We now have a nearly uniform map to unravel key science questions and find the best landing spots for future exploration," says Robinson, a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

.


Related Links
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MOON DAILY
NASA Releases First Interactive Mosaic of Lunar North Pole
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 19, 2014
Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon's north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States. Web viewers can zoom in and out, and pan around an area. Constructed from 10,581 pictures, the mosaic provides en ... read more


MOON DAILY
NASA Orbiter Finds New Gully Channel on Mars

The Exploration of Murray Ridge Continues

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Resumes Full Duty

NASA Orbiter Safe After Unplanned Computer Swap

MOON DAILY
Surface of Titan Sea is mirror smooth, Stanford scientists find

Your 15 Minutes of 'Frame' - from NASA's Cassini

Cassini Nears 100th Titan Flyby with a Look Back

The Wisps of Dione

MOON DAILY
Planet X myth debunked

WISE Finds Thousands Of New Stars But No Planet X

New Horizons Reaches the Final 4 AU

Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead

MOON DAILY
Unique camera from NASA's moon missions sold at auction

NASA Releases First Interactive Mosaic of Lunar North Pole

China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover rouses from latest slumber

Study on lunar crater counting shows crowdsourcing effective, accurate tool

MOON DAILY
Toward 'vanishing' electronics and unlocking nanomaterials' power potential

Nanoscale optical switch breaks miniaturization barrier

Chelyabinsk meteor to help develop nanotechnology

Optical nano-tweezers take over the control of nano-objects

MOON DAILY
Europe's IXV atmospheric reentry demonstrator ready for final tests

Space Launch System - Who Needs It

First filament winding operations on new Ariane 6 motor structure completed

US to seek licence for domestic production of Russia's RD-180 rocket engines

MOON DAILY
Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

China to launch first "space shuttle bus" this year

China expects to launch cargo ship into space around 2016

MOON DAILY
New ISS Crew Wrapping Up Training for Launch

NASA Extends Lockheed Martin Contract to Support ISS

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will fly to the ISS in 2016

How astronauts survive diplomatic tensions in space




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.