NASA's new video gives people an unprecedented look at the moon in 4K quality. The images come from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which was made to begin plans for future manned missions to the moon.
This tour lets people see every nook and cranny on the moon from the safety of Earth's atmosphere.
4K Tour Of The Moon
NASA's video highlights six of the more interesting locations on the closest heavenly body to Earth. NASA outlined the significance of each location in a post on its Tumblr page. The locations highlighted by the video include the Orientale Basin, the South Pole and Shackleton Crater, the South Pole Aitken Basin, the Tycho Crater, the Aristarchus Plateau, the Apollo 17 Landing Site, and the North Pole.
Every location shown on the video is littered with craters. NASA makes a case for the South Pole and Shackleton Crater possibly containing water in its craters because they're so cold, and sunlight never reaches them. This creates a location that would make it impossible for water to evaporate.
Another location highlighted by the video is the Aristarchus Plateau. NASA says that this location can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. Scientists believe that this location could reveal the volcanic history of the Moon. Imaging shows that it is covered in rocks from volcanic eruptions and what is possibly a large river-like structure that was made by a lava flow.
NASA's video tour was created using nine years of data gathered by the LRO. It has been orbiting the moon and gathering data since 2009.
Previous LRO Discoveries
The LRO has made many discoveries throughout the years given its location to the moon. It first discovered that water was present on the moon in October 2009, when the LCROSS probe crashed into the lunar surface.
LRO was also able to provide topographic data on the dark side of the moon. Since the moon is tidally locked to Earth, only one side of the moon faces the Earth all the time. LRO captures images of the moon's topography with its LOLA instruments.
Some of LRO's more mysterious discoveries are the rilles on the lunar surface. Rilles resemble river channels on the surface of the moon. Scientists are still not sure how rilles are formed, but they believe that they may have been caused by ancient magma flows and the collapse of subterranean lava tubes.
LRO also found the location of the Russian lunar rover Lunokhod 1. It landed on the moon in 1970 and traveled six miles before it vanished. LRO was able to contact the rover, which returned a signal.