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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

  1. Space Porn: NASA Releases Detailed Simulation of the Moon’s Phases

    The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA has released a new animation of the Moon going through its phases for the year 2013. New data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has made it possible to render the simulation with a new level of detail, and the result is just gorgeous. NASA set the video to Rossini's "String Sonata No. 3 in C Major," but we've found syncing it up to Dark Side of the Moon works nicely, too.

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  2. New Data Shows There is More Water on the Moon Than We Thought

    The vision of the moon as a completely dry, desolate sphere was soundly shattered two years ago when the LCROSS impactor kicked up a collection of icy crystals on the surface of our lunar neighbor. But a new study using instruments aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows that in the darkest regions of the moon -- where the sun quite literally does not shine -- there is far more water than anticipated.

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  3. NASA Releases Highest Resolution Map of the Moon Ever Made

    NASA has announced the release of the GLD 100, also known as the most accurate, highest resolution map of the Moon ever created. The map was made using instruments aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The image above is a piece of the map, showing the far side of the moon at one pixel per 100 meter (328 foot) scale.

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  4. Shaded Moon Map Shows Tons of Titanium Deposits

    It's been a long time since any one has been to the moon, but we're still learning valuable information about it for use if and when someone does go back. For instance, Mark Robinson and Brett Denevi (from Arizona State University and John Hopkins University, respectively) have found, by cleverly shading some pictures from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, that the moon has a whole bunch of titanium deposits.

    The Orbiter's camera images the surface at seven different wavelengths, and if you know what material absorbs what kind of light in what ways, you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of materials are on the lunar surface. It turns out there's a lot more titanium than anyone previously thought.

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  5. This is the Moon's North Pole

    This mosaic image comprised of over 983 separate images comes from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and captures the Moon's north pole in stunning detail. While the LRO's primary mission is to map the moon for future exploration and determine areas of perpetual light and dark, it has nonetheless created this striking image of Earth's closest neighbor. What's so startling about it is that despite seeing the moon nearly every night, humans never see this view. It's disorienting, but still quite beautiful. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Gizmodo)

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