March 13, 2011
Six Views of Opportunities
image by LROC Featured Image
Remember that magnificent LRO nearside mosaic? Here are six more. Each image is centered 60° from its neighbors so that any area can now be seen away from the compression of the limb. You might think that these are only five new mosaics for we have seen the nearside before. But this is not the same nearside mosaic - it has opposite illumination and the Sun angle is higher, allowing nearly unshadowed views of crater floors. Add the two polar mosaics and others and you will agree that the Moon has never before been so thoroughly imaged. So what can be done with this bonanza? One thing is to recognize that there are more pieces of the Moon to look at closely than there are professional eyeballs. This means that folks not paid to study the Moon - such as most LPODites - can help find interesting features. Examples include floor-fractured craters, secondary crater chains, rilles, concentric craters and bright ray craters. These can be looked for on any of the mosaics - even the nearside where cataloging of such features is incomplete and inaccurate. The additional global mosaic - LROC WMS Image Map - can be used to accurately measure the latitudes and longitudes of the centers of round structures and the end points of rilles and crater chains. I noticed that a number of presentations at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference used images from LPOD and data from our special features lists on the Moon Wiki. That demonstrates the value of these contributions and now we can do the entire Moon and with accurate coordinates. If you ever lamented that there was little useful that amateurs could do to improve our knowledge of the Moon, that is no longer true.
Yesterday's LPOD: Arrowheads, Tomahawks And Big Guns
Tomorrow's LPOD: A Corner of Decay