We’re working on more publicity and planning on more traffic in the next month or so for Moon Mappers, and that means we may not have enough images in the queue. So, I’ve been going through after talking with the other science co-lead and downloading and processing new images to have you look at.
First are a few new old ones: More from the Apollo 15 site. Back in August 2011, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter dipped from its normal 50-km orbit to about 25 km (16 miles) above the surface. This mans that instead of the normal roughly 50 cm per pixel scale from the Narrow Angle Camera, the NAC took images at a whopping 25 cm per pixel. And of course they imaged the Apollo sites.
So, we’re starting out by adding in some new Apollo 15 landing site images.
We’re also adding in some images around the Apollo 12 and 14 landing sites, and the remaining three (11, 16, 17) will be added in the future, as well.
Why are we putting in more Apollo sites? First, we still want to study the effects of lighting angle on how craters are found, and with over 20 NAC images per Apollo site, that’s still the best place to study this.
We also want to re-do the small crater counts in the Apollo areas. These are incredibly important because they calibrate pretty much ALL of the rest of solar system chronology that we know from crater counts (more craters on a surface means an older surface). These crater counts haven’t really been looked at in detail since the 1970s. So, in addition to helping us understand how to best find craters (solar incidence angle), you’re also going to help us do some very fundamental science with these craters!