Saturday, 18 July 2009

LRO - oh deep joy!

"All time sometime deep joy of a full Moon scintillating dangly in the heavenly bode" - Happiness Stan, The Small Faces
In the week where everyone is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1st Moon landing (if you're not, then you should be. It's one of humanities greatest achievements), the LRO snaps this image:

Not much to see you may think; but what's that little, right-pointing shadow bang in the centre? I'll blow it up.

All is revealed below the belt...

It's the bottom half of the Eagle, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on Apollo 11.
"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
LRO is still in the commissioning phase of its mission. It's not down to its working orbit yet, so the final resolution should be at least twice as good as this.

Remember, the last time anyone saw this object it was from a lot closer.

Buzz Aldrin looks back at his taxi home.
The LRO has captured images of all the other Apollo sites except 12 (coming soon). On the image from Apollo 14 you can actually see the path made by the astronauts as they trekked back and forth to some experimental equipment! Amazing.
LRO images, credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University


Mark said...

Fantastic photo`s, especially the one of Apollo 14, surely these should silence the conspiracy theorists that say we never actually laned on the moon ???

Andy Holroyd said...

That's unlikely. They'll just claim the new photos are faked, or they are carefully chosen natural rock outcrops or boulders. Bullshit!