April 10, 2004

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Another Farside View


Image Credit: Phillip Stooke

Amazing Farside View

One of the joys of LPOD is receiving unsolicited lunar surprises. The wonderful mosaic of the lunar nearside prompted geographer Phil Stooke to send this matching mosaic of the entire farside! Phil assembled this farside mosaic from the Lunar Orbiter images as part of a forthcoming atlas of lunar exploration. As you can tell by looking at the mosaic the quality of coverage was extremely variable in resolution, quality and lighting. Many of the most dramatic shots were terminator to limb views that had to be unspherized and converted into flat map views. So we now have two complementary hemisphere maps of the farside - the Clementine mosaic and this lower (but variable) sun Orbiter view. The Clementine mosaic emphasizes the albedo differences of crater rays and dark crust of the South Pole-Aitken Basin, which mostly disappear in this topographic view. Wow! We are so lucky to finally have these images - now there is a selenographic framework for the detailed study of the farside.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:

Phil used a professional Geographic Information System (PCI) to reproject numerous images to a common projection. The mosaic was constructed in Photoshop. It took about two weeks to assemble.

Related Links:
USGS Airbrush Farside Map

Yesterday's LPOD: Copernicus on the Limb

Tomorrow's LPOD: Valley of the Alpes

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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