December 24, 2013

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left image from Sohu News; and right image from Phil Stooke on Unmanned

On the left is a slightly enhanced overhead view of the Chang'e 3 landing site composed of panorama images taken from the surface overlaid on a vertical view, perhaps from Chang'e 2. A Google translation of a Sohu news story explains that the red dot in the middle is the location of the lander, and the red line shows the 21 m path taken by the Yutu rover, with panorama images taken from the lettered locations. I assume that the images used to make this view were taken with the cameras on the lander before Yutu rolled down the ramps (point X), for its wheel tracks are not visible. A linear bright feature at upper right of the high res overlay image appears to be artificial, perhaps a part of the lander. The right mosaic was compiled by Phil Stooke from screen captures he made of the panorama camera images released as a video. Because of how Phil's image was constructed it is not as sharp as the official view to the left, but does show a view at a later time; Yutu appears to be a point B in the pan mosaic. Additionally, Phil's mosaic extend further from the lander but the resolution makes the information content low. The abundance of bright, blocky ejecta - for example, the crater just north of the lander and in Phil's unwrapped pan - suggests that the regolith is thin here, so that even small craters excavate solid lava.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
Emily Lakdawalla 's post pointed me to both of these images; the best links to new images is Unmanned

Related Links
Lander still photos and panoramas.

Yesterday's LPOD: Y or Why?

Tomorrow's LPOD: Santa Moon


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