August 17, 2022

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R3 & R4

Originally published September 25, 2012 LPOD-Sep25-12.jpg
south up LRO image from NASA/GSFC/ASU, image processing by Kurt Fisher (white bar is 3.5 km in length)

Using NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Arizona State University's LROC Team continues to take high-resolution images of the Moon, and the LRO's recent images of two lunar volcanic domes on Mons Rümker illustrate the significant advance in resolution that LRO represents. Two 2012 images from LRO's Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) each with about 1.5 meter per pixel resolution and a file size of 528 megabytes were joined to make the reduced 1.5 megabyte image above at about 20 per pixel meter resolution. In comparison, a 2006 Rümker of 200 meter per pixel resolution, and K.C. Pau's LPOD shows a typical Earth-based small telescope view.

Amateurs can mine the high-resolution NAC images through the LROC Team's provision of public access to reduced size tiff images; for the above image each LROC NAC tif image is 49.5 megabytes in size. However, while inexpensive consumer terabyte drives make manipulating these large-size images economically within the reach of the average amateur, simple image processing tools are lacking that can handle processing of the full 500 megabyte NAC images. The Astrogeology Section of the U.S. Geological Survey created its ISIS (Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers) software for that purpose, and while ISIS is free, the package is very difficult to install and configure. ISIS was used to process the image featured in this LPOD. Currently, the LROC Team's "Feature Image" blog is the principal source of stunning lunar close-ups derived from LRO-NAC images.

Hopefully, future advances in consumer grade software will provide a simple program by which the amateur community can easily view, clip and export these fascinating high resolution images, and by such software advances, the amateur community can join the LROC Team in data mining the terabytes of raw LRO-NAC images that have as yet to viewed by a human's eyes. For now, the LROC Image Browser allows the public to capture high-resolution images by taking screen shots from the Browser applet, and even with that constraint, amateurs can hunt down those dramatic views hiding in the LRO image database."

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
Image source and location:
LROC images M193354413LC M193354413RC taken 2012-06-03.
LROC ACT-REACT Quick Map for Mons Rumker Domes R3 and R4. Permalink.
A full 1.5 meter resolution tiff image is about 117 megabytes in size, and that size prevents distribution here. A full version, in which every two or three meter rock and boulder is visible, can be downloaded for the next month here via url.

Related Links
Rükl plate 8
Wöhler, C.; Lena, R.; Pau, K. C. (2007) The Lunar Dome Complex Mons Rümker: Morphometry, Rheology, and Mode of Emplacement, Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII, #1091.

Yesterday's LPOD: Domeland And Rilleland

Tomorrow's LPOD: Ever New Moon


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