October 19, 2013

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A Touch of Reality

Images by NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Like in Hollywood movies, it is sometimes hard to tell what is real and what is just special effects (well not really now with CGI which looks fake, but I digress...) These two views of the Moon have just been released this week from the LROC team, and are synthetic views of the Moon based on the LRO WAC mosaic and Global Lunar Digital Terrain Model 100m topographical data. Even though it has been possible to do similar computer generated views like this with the LTVT tool of Jim Mosher, the LROC team have taken even more lighting effects into consideration to make a correct albedo and lighting angle image (right) that is hard to tell from a real telescopic view from Earth (in this view of the Moon in the right hand image, from Mumbai, India). In the 3D anaglyph on the left, they have projected the Moon views from two different Earth perspectives to get a 3D view.
Will these 'life-like' synthetic Moon's eventually replace the need for telescopic imagery? As much as they look as good as the real thing, it can never replace the satisfaction of creating your own images of the Moon and be able to say, that's "My Moon!" and I was out under it.

Maurice Collins

Related Links
Synthetic Views of the Moon, Oct 15 LROC featured images:

3D Moon! Oct 18 LROC featured images:

Yesterday's LPOD: Dome or Kipuka?

Tomorrow's LPOD: Io Lookalike


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