NASA publishes 3-D images of the moon

Oct. 3, 2012
The camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is acquiring high resolution (0.5 to 2 meters/pixel) stereo images of the moon.

The camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is acquiring high-resolution (0.5 to 2 meters/pixel) stereo images of the moon.

The images are being processed by a system developed by engineers from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) team from the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ, USA) and Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ, USA) which automatically generates anaglyphs from the stereo pairs that can be viewed in 3-D using red-blue/green glasses.

The LROC acquires stereo images by targeting a location on the ground and taking an image from one angle on one orbit, and from a different angle on a subsequent orbit.

Anaglyphs are used to better understand the 3-D structure of the lunar surface. The LROC NAC anaglyphs make lunar features such as craters, volcanic flows, lava tubes and tectonic features jump out in 3-D.

At the present time, several anaglyphs have been published. These include an image of cliffs on the moon which are found mostly in the highlands, a roughly 12-kilometer-diameter crater, and an ancient channel formed as massive eruptions of lava once poured across the surface of the moon.

More anaglyphs will be released through the LROC web site and the NASA LRO web site as they become available.

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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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