Sunday, December 16, 2012

LRO teams deliver 12th quarterly release to PDS

The 8000 meter wide pyroclastic vent high on the second outer ring of Mare Orientale, at very high resolution, has nearly invariably been in shadow, or the LRO spacecraft has been at lower altitude and too close to catch this breathtaking view in one take. As it is, the full observation was repeated in sequential orbits, the makings of a spectacular stereo 3D anaglyph. From a mosaic including both the left and right frames of LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) M1099502843, orbit 14378, August 13, 2012; resolution 0.75 meters from 72.12 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team at Arizona State University, and investigation teams overseeing the other instruments on-board the robust LRO platform, are once again on time with their 12th quarterly release to the Planetary Data System (PDS). Its another impressive store, with more data gathered over three months than most deep space missions sweep up in an entire tour. All together, the LRO mission has again broken its own record, one unlikely to be surpassed for many years. LRO has returned more data than all present and past deep space missions combined.
To a widespread, devoted and grateful group unashamed to call themselves "lunatics," Christmas has arrived early once again this year.

Far to the northeast of the more familiar heart of the Reiner Gamma albedo swirl (and magnetic anomaly) in Oceanus Procellarum, the bright but thin layer of optically immature regolith meanders up into the Marius Hills. The higher altitude assumed by the LRO mission this year allowed the diffuse contact region to be photographed in one observation, under the same lighting conditions. The LROC Wide Angle Camera 100 meter global mosaic is used as context for that area, swept up in the NAC observation below [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University]. 
Still at high resolution, the physical relationship at the surface between the Reiner Gamma swirl and the Marius Hills volcanism can be studied under similar lighting condition, and in one take, in this LROC NAC mosaic. LROC NAC M1099209032LR, orbit 14337, August 10, 2012; resolution in the original 0.98 meters from 118.85 km, angle of incidence 40.15° [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
"The 12th LROC Planetary Data System release includes images acquired between June 16 to September 15," according to the announcement, posted by LROC team member Ernest Bowman-Cisneros.

This LROC release totals 16.54 TB, and includes ten more Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and 6 NAC image mosaics of important Region of Interest (ROI).

"To date," Bowman-Cisneros writes, "the LROC Team has delivered 893,493 LROC images and over 8,653 derived (RDR) data products to the NASA Planetary Data System. The complete LROC PDS archive can be accessed via the URL or a search for specific images or mosaics can be made using the LROC WMS browser. Also be sure and try out QuickMap!"

The anatomical mix of dark and relatively bright featured tossed up by simple craters impacting the Marius Hills can also be examined from the unique perspective presented in the LROC NAC oblique images, this one being the first we stumbled across, a brief study of the shield volcano's interior. LROC NAC M1096851065LR, LRO orbit 14007, July 13, 2012 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How do we know that this is a volcanic vent?