Thursday, September 24, 2009

'M-Qubed' dataset outlasts Chandrayaan

Clementine dataset (1994) finally begins an upgrade - Data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chandrayaan lunar orbiter reveals subtle, previously unknown diversity and features of lunar morphology, including water content. In a Quicktime movie, images taken at different wavelengths are assigned false colors, revealing the invisible make-up of the moon. Visible optical wavelengths run from ~0.4 to 0.75 mm while the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (3M) measured energy from the Moon from 0.45 through 3 mm, well into the infrared. The instrument had a spectrometer range divided into 86 bands in one mode and 260 in a higher-resolution mode. The animation takes a "random walk "through the data, with various combinations of images assigned colors of red, green and blue. Different color show various minerals and water on the surface of the Moon. This sampling is of just some of the data -- more information remains yet to be pulled out, still contained in the 1,000 Gigabyte 3M dataset. [ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./Analytical Imaging and Geophysics, LLC]

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