August 18, 2012

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3 thumbnail images of Hesiodus A concentric crater from the Kaguya Terrain Camera, and one thumbnail of a simultaneous or oblique impact crater Barbier K from Chang’E

A question asked in the professional Lunar-List has yielded a valuable series of responses about access to data from recent lunar missions. To make it easy to find these data sets I've added a page to the Moon-Wiki that is slowly bringing together all of this information. Knowing where to find data is unfortunately only the beginning to using it. Nearly all of these repositories use file formats that are difficult to display and are not easy to translate into amateur-friendly jpegs. But LPOD has many users - including professional lunar scientists and really skilled amateurs - who I encourage to write short tutorials on how to select and display lunar images from these data sets. One of the great impedi ments to more widespread use of space data is that the formats used in the official Planetary Data System require a postdoc to figure out. A really remarkable example of how to make data access easy is the QuickMap interface for LRO images (and altimetry) and the M3 images from Indian Chandrayan-1 orbiter. The Arizona State University team also uses a similar interface for all of the historic Apollo images they are digitizing. The Internet has spawned a culture of let information be free. I would add for lunar data, free and accessible by a normal person.

Chuck Wood

Related Links
Rükl plate 54

Yesterday's LPOD: Yes, the Moon is Here

Tomorrow's LPOD: Small Mystery


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