Dayum. These flicks come courtesy of NASA. The Daily Fail reports:
The brilliant, iridescent green concepts, pictured here, show the topography of different hemispheres of the moon.
Dr Neumann said: ‘After about one year taking data, we already have nearly 3 billion data points from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board the LRO spacecraft.
‘We expect to continue to make measurements at this rate through the next two years of the science phase of the mission and beyond. Near the poles, we expect to provide near-GPS-like navigational capability as coverage is denser due to the spacecraft's polar orbit.’
The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) works by sending a laser pulse through an optical lense that splits it into five beams that are each scattered back after they strike the lunar surface.
From the return pulse, LOLA determines the time of flight which, accounting for the speed of light, reveals the distance from the spacecraft to the lunar surface.
The positional errors of image mosaics of the lunar far side have been between one and ten kilometres (about 0.62 to 6.2 miles), Neumann said.
He added: 'We're beating these down to the level of 30 metres (almost 100 feet) or less spatially and one metre (almost 3.3 feet) vertically.'
In other moon news, there's gonna be a total lunar eclipse tomorrow morning, to coincide with the winter solstice.
The full moon will start to pass through Earth's shadow at 6.32am on the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice on December 21.
Unusually, this eclipse will include a brief period when both the sun and eclipsed moon are above the horizon and precisely opposite each other in the sky.
The partial eclipse begins when the moon first enters the dark inner, umbral part of the Earth's shadow, and will become a total eclipse at 7.40am.