Single shot of the Central Highlands of the Moon Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/JHU-APL/Todd R. Lauer (NOIRLab)

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft captured this image of the moon’s surface on Oct. 16, 2022, about 6.5 hours after it flew by Earth for its first of three gravitational pulls. The image was taken when Lucy was between Earth and the Moon, about 160,000 miles (260,000 km) from the Moon, so it shows a perspective familiar to Earth observers. The image shows an 800-mile (1,200 km) wide patch near the center of the last quarter moon. Many familiar craters are visible, including the relatively fresh Artsakhel crater to the left of center. A distinct scarp of the fault, called the Straight Wall, is visible crossing the lava plains at lower left of center.

The image, which is created by combining ten separate 2ms exposures of the same scene for maximum image quality, has been sharpened. Each pixel corresponds to approximately 0.8 miles (1.3 km).

This image was taken with the L’LORRI (Lucy Long Range Reconnaissance Imager), Lucy’s high-resolution grayscale camera. L’LORRI was provided and operated by the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Applied Physics.

Terminator mosaic

NASA's Lucy spacecraft observes the moon

Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/JHU-APL/Todd R. Lauer (NOIRLab)

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft captured this mosaic of the Moon’s surface on October 16, 2022, between 7.5 and 8 hours after it flew past Earth for its first of three gravitational pulls. At closest approach, the spacecraft flew within 224 miles (360 km) of Earth, passing below the altitude of the International Space Station. Lucy was on average about 140,000 miles (230,000 km) from the moon when these images were taken.

The mosaic was taken when Lucy was between the Earth and the Moon, so it shows the perspective familiar to terrestrial observers, centered near the last quarter moon terminator. The view includes the rugged southern highlands with large craters in the lower part of the mosaic and the ancient, lava-filled impact basin of Mare Imbrium in the upper part. Near the left edge of the mosaic, the bright, fresh crater of Copernicus catches the eye.

This mosaic, consisting of 5 separate 1 millisecond exposures, has been sharpened. Note that the image covering the very top of the Moon’s rim was taken earlier, resulting in a slight image discrepancy. Each pixel corresponds to approximately 0.7 miles (1.2 km).

Mare Imbrium single frame

NASA's Lucy spacecraft observes the moon

Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/JHU-APL/Todd R. Lauer (NOIRLab)

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft took this image of the moon’s surface on October 16, 2022, about 8 hours after it flew by Earth for its first of three gravity passes. The image was taken when Lucy was between the Earth and the Moon, so it shows the angle familiar to Earth observers. The image shows an area of ‚Äč‚Äčlunar terrain about 600 miles (1,000 km) wide dominated by the ancient, lava-filled impact basin of Mare Imbrium. The Apennine Mountains, part of the Imbrium basin rim that was the landing site of the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, dominate the lower right of the image. Lucy was about 140,000 miles (230,000 km) away month when the picture was taken.

The image, which is a one-millisecond exposure, has been sharpened. Each pixel corresponds to approximately 0.7 miles (1.1 km).


The Lucy spacecraft takes pictures of the Earth and the Moon before the gravity assist


Citation: Images: NASA’s Lucy spacecraft gives new views of the Moon (2022, October 27) Retrieved October 27, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-images-nasa-lucy-spacecraft- views.html

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