NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio created this virtual tour of the moon – in all-new 4K resolution – using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. The visualization moves around the moon’s near side, far side, north and south poles, highlighting interesting features, sites, and information gathered on the lunar terrain.
4K resolution – also called 4K – refers to a horizontal screen display resolution in the order of 4,000 pixels. Also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD), 4K resolution is four times as great as standard high definition.
Here’s how NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio describes the video:
The tour visits a number of interesting sites chosen to illustrate a variety of lunar terrain features. Some are on the near side and are familiar to both professional and amateur observers on Earth, while others can only be seen clearly from space. Some are large and old (Orientale, South Pole-Aitken), others are smaller and younger (Tycho, Aristarchus). Constantly shadowed areas near the poles are hard to photograph but easier to measure with altimetry, while several of the Apollo landing sites, all relatively near the equator, have been imaged at resolutions as high as 25 centimeters (10 inches) per pixel.
The tour also highlights the mineral composition of the Aristarchus plateau, evidence for surface water ice in certain spots near the south pole, and the mapping of gravity in and around the Orientale basin.
Bottom line: Video tour of the moon in Ultra High Definition (UHD).
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.