Saturday, May 5, 2012

The new Kaguya Terrain Camera tours

Still from the 16:9 spectacular Kaguya terrain camera video tour of the Reiner Gamma albedo swirl in Oceanus Procellarum. The presentation does an excellent job showing the apparent link between the swirl and the morphology of the Marius Hill to its northwest [JAXA/SELENE].
Japan's space agency JAXA recently published a handful of spectacular, new highly realistic 3D tours from Terrain Camera data returned from SELENE-1 (Kaguya 2007-2009). Since Kaguya met its end in a guided impact visible from Earth in 2009, sporadic updates to the Kaguya Image Gallery, where mission science, presentations and a sampling of HDTV are available, have been few. 

The Japanese language side of the gallery is always updated first, so it took a little intuition for us to find the useful link to the new products. These are also comparatively large video files (20Mps MPEG, ~100 mg). Unable to view the best of these new presentations following the Flash linkage, the stand-alone files can download for viewing locally . It's worth the effort. A user can "right hand click" the links below to save the video files directly.

If you don't want to bother with all that and still want a renewed taste of Kaguya's still-unique and valuable contributions - not the least their addition to the aesthetics and appreciation for the beauty of Earth's Moon - don't neglect the Kaguya YouTube videos, starting with the famous Earthrise from 2008.

While in the neighborhood, a new and improved Kaguya terrain camera tour of the wider vicinity of the Marius pit, situated within a sinuous rille winding through the heart of the Marius Hills, is also worth the time.

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