A Picture of Home

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter turned its cameras toward home from a distance of over 231,000 miles away on June 12, 2010. Looking back at Earth in this way helps to calibrate its Wide Angle Camera, and while doing so two images were taken with its Narrow Angle Camera and combined to create this beautiful black-and-white…

Mountains of the Moon

  Taken by the LROC camera on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, this image shows a detailed look at the mountains within Cabeus Crater – the region where the LCROSS’ Centaur stage rocket impacted to send up a plume of water-rich lunar soil. Many of the shadows seen here are permanent fixtures. The Moon’s orbit…

Eagle’s Landing Site

This is what the Apollo 11 landing site looks like today from lunar orbit via NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Visible here is the remaining descent stage of the lander, a couple of left-behind scientific experiments and the tripod of a television camera as well as a dark trail of footprints to “Little West” crater left by…

In Fact, It’s Cold As Hell

When you look up at the moon, you’re looking at what is now believed to be the coldest place in the solar system, according to recent data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Craters at the moon’s south pole stay in constant shadow, their rims blocking sunlight from reaching their interiors. In these areas of permanent…

Rolling Stones

This closeup of a mapping image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the rolling, bouncing trails left by lunar boulders as they travelled down the slopes of Tsiolkovskiy Crater’s central peak. These boulders, several meters across, lost their footing in the dusty lunar soil at some point and rolled downhill to where they lay now….

Making a Splash

A recent photo taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) shows a young impact crater in amazing detail, its half-mile-wide interior littered with fused piles of melted rock and encircled by a spray of dark streamers – the “splash” of melted subsurface material from the impact. Boulders and smaller chunks of rock are scattered…

Eagle’s Eye View

In the center of this image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, there’s a small object casting a shadow toward the right. That object is the remaining section of the Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle, from which astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made history as the first humans to step foot on the moon…

What a Relief

This is a video “flyover” of the images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, riding along the moon’s terminator between night and day. The shallow angle of sunlight makes for very nice relief of the lunar surface. More on the LRO Mission here. Image/animation: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

Lunar Landscape

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has opened its eyes and sent back its first images since establishing orbit around the moon on June 23. The image above is from a region called Mare Nubium – “Sea of Clouds” – and is on the Earth-facing side of the moon. “Because of the deep shadowing, subtle topography is…

Up, Up, and Away!

I don’t know what else to say except that this is pretty much the freakin’ coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. And you know that Lights in the Dark specializes in pretty freakin’ cool things. 😉 At 5:32 PM EST on Thursday, June 18, the Atlas V rocket carrying the new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter…