Thursday, November 8, 2007

HDTV movies of the Moon from Kaguya

The Japanese Kaguya (formerly Selene) mission has captured the first high-def movies from the Moon. Pretty impressive stuff, even if it does lose some of that high-def impact when it's a tiny little movie on your computer screen. Still pretty though.

The captions are all in Japanese, but the movie consists of two sequences:

The first sequence is a movie flying over the western region of Oceanus Procellarum. Starting point is approx. 25 N, 275 - 282 E and ending point is 49N, 275 - 283 E. The contrast of mare and highland are clearly recognized.

The second sequence is a scene flying over the north pole region. Starting point is approx. 66 N, 274 - 288 E and ending point is 87 N, 26 - 161 E. Kaguya is flying from the northern part of Oceanus Procellarum to the north pole. As it is in high latitude, incidence angle becomes lower and it makes shadows longer. Thanks to lower angle, we can see craters and other cobbly surface features very clearly.

These sequence captured on 31 Oct, 2007 (JST) with altitude of approximately 100 kilometers.

Congrats to our Japanese friends!