Under Earthshine

Moon under Earthshine
Equatorial ShadowCam image under earthshine illumination reveals the interior of Bruce crater (6.1-kilometer diameter, 1.16°N, 0.37°E). The brighter streamers were formed as immature soil slid down the steep crater wall. These dramatic landslide deposits are common in young impact craters. The image width is 2200 meters; the pixel scale is 2 meters, M014762651S [NASA/KARI/Arizona State University].

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO, also known as Danuri) is now in its mapping orbit. On January 22, KPLO flew very near the sub-Earth point just after a new Moon, meaning the Earth was nearly full as seen from the Moon. As a challenging test of instrument sensitivity, ShadowCam snapped this image. Despite the very dim lighting, one can see the Moon! Earthshine is about ten times dimmer than the average permanently shadowed regions (PSR) that ShadowCam was designed to image. This image shows that ShadowCam can see into some of the dimmest PSRs.

NAC (left) under high Sun, ShadowCam (right) under earthshine
Side-by-side LROC NAC to ShadowCam comparison of a section of Bruce crater. The NAC image was acquired with the Sun nearly overhead, and the ShadowCam image with a full Earth nearly overhead. Each panel is 1090 meters wide; north is up; NAC M128481287LR [NASA/KARI/Arizona State University].

Follow the full path of landslides on the steep slopes of Bruce crater (zoom out and scroll up a bit).

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Posted by Mark Robinson on 20 February 2023