Washington: Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA`s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have developed the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon`s north polar region.
The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States.
The entire image measures 931,070 pixels square - nearly 867 billion pixels total. A complete printout at 300 dots per inch - considered crisp resolution for printed publications - would require a square sheet of paper wider than a professional U.S. football field and almost as long.
John Keller, LRO project scientist at NASA`s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md, said that this unique image is a tremendous resource for scientists and the public alike, asserting that it`s the latest example of the exciting insights and data products LRO has been providing for nearly five years.
The images making up the mosaic were taken by the two LRO Narrow Angle Cameras, which are part of the instrument suite known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The cameras can record a tremendous dynamic range of lit and shadowed areas.
LRO entered lunar orbit in June 2009 equipped with seven instrument suites to map the surface, probe the radiation environment, investigate water and key mineral resources, and gather geological clues about the moon`s evolution.
Image Credit: NASA/STEREO/Helioviewer