image byMIC onboard NOZOMI / ISAS
Making a mosaic is difficult and not even professionals with multi-million dollar spacecraft always get it right. Nozomi was an ill-fated Japanese probe launched toward Mars in 1998 but it suffered mechanical problems and solar flare damage before being abandoned into a rough two year orbit around the Sun. Nozomi made two flybys past the Moon for gravitational assists to escape Earth’s neighborhood, acquiring a handful of images of the lunar near and far sides. All the images seem not quite in focus, perhaps because the short focal length lens produced small images that need too much enlargement. Also, it appears that the compression (either on board the spacecraft or on ground) was too intense, resulting in artifacts. Nonetheless, a few of these images provide synoptic views of part of the farside that are useful for mapping.
December 18, 1998. 21.4 mm aperture f/1.6 telescope + 2560 pixel ccd camera.
Yesterday's LPOD: More Steep Places - This Time on a Limb
Tomorrow's LPOD: A Gash and a River