Two posts last week called attention to our Moon. One showed its rotation. We never get to see that because it always presents the same face toward us. See Alex Autin’s terrific and timely blog …things I LOVE! for it and the details. The other post was mine. It told why we see phases, wobbles, and eclipses. You can find that here. This post continues our Moon posts series with a special 4 minute narrated tour of some of the interesting features of Earth’s natural satellite.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) returned elevation and image data which was used in this animation to make a virtual tour of the Moon. You fly over the lunar surface and come in for closer looks at interesting sites. Some sites familiar to professional and amateur observers on Earth are on the near side. Others on the far side can only be seen from space. The Apollo 17 landing site is featured in this video. The site is relatively near the equator and has been imaged at high resolution. The shape of the terrain in this animation is based primarily on data from LRO’s laser altimeter (LOLA). Stereo image data is used from the LRO wide angle camera (LROC WAC) and from Japan’s Kaguya mission. Surface color is from the Clementine mission.
Viewing advice for the most impressive visual effect, I suggest watching in full screen mode. Click the [ ] bracket just to the right of the YouTube label at the lower right of the video.