Friday, August 14, 2009

LOIRP remasters the Moon's south pole

Just in time to add work to that of the LCROSS targeting team, some new comparisons can be made between the surface of the impactor's targeting range today and how that area looked May 24, 1967. At least three of the permanently-shadowed, abyssal craters that are among the six finalists for the LCROSS impact event, October 9, are here, as seen from the altitude where the LCROSS Centaur upper-stage primary impactor and it's shepherding sensor vehicle will part ways, until they meet again at the Moon's surface.

From the LOIRP website: "This image, LO-IV-179-H1, taken by Lunar Orbiter IV on May 24, 1967 at 16:19:23.809 GMT, shows a portion of the lunar south polar region. A much larger version [1.8 MB jpg] can be downloaded here. You can download the full resolution image [692 MB tif file] here at NLSI.

The altitude of the spacecraft when this image was taken was 3,591.83 kilometers. The resolution of the image is 78.432 meters per pixel.

Spacecraft Position: Altitude: 3591.83 km, Latitude: -71.38°, Longitude: -96.22°
Principal Point: Latitude: -69.52°, Longitude: -74.07°; Illumination: Sun Azimuth: 68.15°, Incident Angle: 82.85°, Emission Angle: 11.24°, Phase Angle: 94.08°, Alpha: -11.23°

Read the full LOIRP Release, HERE.

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