NASA releases first moon’s far side unique view taken by MoonKAM (Video)

By on Feb 2, 2012 in Astronomy, Science Comments

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently released a so-called first unique view of the far side of the moon, as shown in the video below.

South pole of the far side of the moon
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

According to NASA‘s post on their official website on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, spacecraft Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) has returned its view of moon’s far side.

As noted in the report, GRAIL consists of twin spacecraft, recently named Ebb and Flow, each of them equipped with a Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle (MoonKAM), which took the 30-second video of the moon last January 19.

Apparently, the NASA video shows the north pole of the moon at the top of the screen as MoonKAM‘s Ebb flies toward the lunar South Pole, which revealed a new view of the Mare Orientale, a 560-mile (900 kilometer) basin along the border between the near and far sides of the moon.

In addition, NASA described the 93 mile-wide (149 kilometer) Drygalski crater that can be seen on the left of center, near the bottom of the screen, which has a notably distinctive star-shaped formation in the middle.

“The quality of the video is excellent and should energize our MoonKAM students as they prepare to explore the moon,” Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, was quoted on the report; who is also the narrator on the video.

Both Ebb and Flow, which were previously named GRAIL-A and –B, respectively, were launched in September 2011, successfully completed lunar orbit last New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with Flow to be tested on a later date.

NASA GRAIL’s first unique view of moon’s far side
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