April 15, 2005

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Back to the Pole


Image Credit: SMART-1

Back to the Pole

The European Space Agency has re-released a Smart-1 image of the Moon. The Dec 29 image (above) and a new one from Jan 19 show the North Polar region. The images are meant to help identify regions of eternal light for consideration as possible future base locations. This Smart-1 image does reach the pole - whch is on the far rim of the crater Peary, which is totally in shadow behind Byrd. The press release for this image told me something I didn’t know: in 1879 Camille Flammarion suggested that there might be lunar polar mountains that would always be illuminated - pics de lumiere eternelle. I have a vague recollection that Schroter may have previously mentioned the same idea - is there a historian of lunar science who knows? This image was taken from 5500 km elevation, before the spacecraft entered its lower science orbit. The resolution is less than Orbiter IV images. I added the names and somewhat improved the tonal balance. I eagerly await the full commisioning of Smart-1 and a steady flow of wonderful new images.

Chuck Wood

Related Links:
Lunar Orbiter IV View
Dec 29, 2004 Smart Images
Rukl Plates 4 & II

Yesterday's LPOD: Boo! (Really Bu!)

Tomorrow's LPOD: Ridgeback Crater

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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