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Moon NASA Space Science

A Half-Gigabyte View of the Moon 112

An anonymous reader writes "A new 24,000-pixel-square half-gigabyte mosaic from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Moon's nearside as never before. The 1,300 black-and-white frames were acquired during a two-week period in December 2010. There is also video of the half gig moon."
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A Half-Gigabyte View of the Moon

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  • Slashdotted in 3, 2, 1....

    • It's actually a single, gigantic .tif file.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        1-pi/4 of it is black, I feel cheated!

    • Mirror here: moon []

      • by ghmh ( 73679 )
        There's a clone of Sam Rockwell there too
    • They have a good server. I just finished the download in about 15 minutes. All I can say is wow!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wait... it is a moon.

  • It can resolve the surface at 2 feet (0.5 m) per pixel — good enough to reveal even the paths worn in the lunar soil by the astronauts' boots.

    Holy crap.

    • Time to find them, and then for the crowds to scream "shopped". Shotgun not looking.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It can resolve the surface at 2 feet (0.5 m) per pixel — good enough to reveal even the paths worn in the lunar soil by the astronauts' boots.

      Holy crap.

      I agree. Those are some HUGE boots.

    • 2 feet per pixel? Is that 2 left feet, 2 right feet or one of each? I guess it would depend on whether the astronauts were taking giant steps or jumping at the time.

    • Re:Resolution (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zcar ( 756484 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @12:46PM (#35370094)

      Not this image.

      This is a mosaic from the LROC's wide angle camera. A rough, back-of-the-envelope calculate dividing the diameter of the moon by 24000 pixels suggests a spatial resolution around 140m.

      The 0.5m resolution is from the main camera. A 0.5m mosaic of the entire Earth-facing side of the moon would be on the order of 7000000x7000000 not 24000x24000.

      • by mmj638 ( 905944 )

        When you say "back-of-the-envelope" you mean Windows Calculator don't you ...

        • by Zcar ( 756484 )

          Google, actually. Try it: "diameter of the moon / 24000".

          Of course, I meant "back-of-the-envelope" to mean it was an approximation, not taking into account things like differing spatial resolution as you move across the image, etc.

    • Obviously those are shopped in there. We all know we never really went to the moon. Ever. :)
    • by kent_eh ( 543303 )
      I'm waiting until the pictures are good enough to find that damn lost golf ball.
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Neil Armstrong must have had some pretty big feet!

      (Never mind, as someone else pointed out, it's incorrect. 24000 pixels doesn't give that kind of resolution)

  • Alternative to downloading 500+ MB .tif from overwhelmed server...

    Moon []

  • by teaserX ( 252970 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @12:35PM (#35369964) Homepage Journal
    ...or maybe GoogleMaps craterview would be cool
  • shows the Moon's nearside as never before.

    Anyone else misread that as rearside? Time to lay off the porn.

  • "good enough to reveal even the paths worn in the lunar soil by the astronauts' boots."

    Yeah, right! It's Photoshopped.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @12:53PM (#35370188)

    One looks like a deep dry river bed around Archimedes. WTF is that? It's not shallow like the others (I guess lava flows?). Second, I see a short crater rows. I guess this is from a stream of some disintegrated meteor?

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @12:55PM (#35370206) Homepage

    From the article : "The combined image shows slight banding where the 1,024-pixel-wide swaths were stitched together."

    BULL! those are where the moon farmers were harvesting their moon wheat! It's all a coverup!

  • Well, the slashdot effect definitely hit the .tif's site ( for a bit(got to the point where wget lost the connection, and was dial-up speeds before that), but it seems they've mostly recovered! Getting about 2Mbps on the download now.
  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @01:13PM (#35370394)

    Wait. These pictures indicate it it is. Sorry, everyone! False alarm.

    I'm so embarrassed.

  • I wonder how they compensated the libration in the timeframe they took the images. []

    And no, I didn't read TFA.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They didn't take pictures from the Earth, they took them from lunar orbit... So there is no libration.

    • Libration would apply to pictures taken from earth, not to pictures taken by an orbiting reconnaissance module.

    • by mbone ( 558574 )

      Librations are small variations in the rotation of the moon, either real ("physical librations") or apparent (the apparent ones - the "geometrical librations" - are caused by variations in the Moon's orbital motion, which is not uniform, and which changes slowly with time).

      For a Lunar orbiter, the geometrical librations are irrelevant, and the physical librations are accounted for in the spacecraft ephemeris.

    • The pictures were taken from a spacecraft orbiting the moon, not from earth. Libration won't effect the spacecraft and more than it affects the sats that give us Google Earth images.

    • It's assembled from orbital images, so they just matched up one image to an adjacent one. (OK, so it's not actually that simple, but that it the general idea.) Libration isn't an issue.

  • My wife got all excited by this story. She'd always told me that there were pixies on the moon.

  • I'm going to send an email to everyone I know in Canada
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A zooming version is available at []

  • Man, they need some mirrors badly. Only getting 500KB/sec.. gonna take forever to download.
  • by rimugu ( 701444 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:11PM (#35371020)

    Off course you won't be able to see the moon landing site.
    Some will tell you is because of resolution.
    I say it is because New Mexico is not in the moon.

  • I can see my house in that picture.
    Once I get my grubby paws on the entire mosaic, my copy of Rukl's lunar atlas is going up on Cloudy Nights.
  • Any super resolution image for the Earth around?
  • If this were a JPEG it'd be around 40 MB.

  • And so much from NASA. Seriously, NASA releases just about everything, while CHina gives just enough to try and make themselves sound nice. Yet, it is a fraction of what they recover. WHy? Because their space program is a MILITARY system, not a civilian one. For you westerners pushing for us to work with China on space, keep in mind that you are helping on weapon systems that will be pointed at us.
  • I really do think that it's amazing what the right hardware in the right place can do for increasing our knowledge. The optics on this spacecraft that generated the data, are no larger than an average webcam at ~1.2mm aperture, F/5 focal ratio described as a telescope (6mm f/5 described as a camera lens). Really impressive dataset.
    I can't wait for the Virtual Moon Atlas to have this dataset available..
  • And after all these years I was convinced that the moon was made of blue cheese...

The other line moves faster.