Planet Earth

Kaguya's jaw-dropping Moon video

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJun 5, 2009 2:00 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Kaguya is a Japanese spacecraft that has been orbiting the Moon since October 2007. It is equipped with several detectors, but also — brilliantly, in my opinion — two HD cameras. The footage below is not a simulation: it’s real imagery of the Moon! Make sure you click the HD button, or go to the YouTube page to see this in full resolution.

This next footage is of the crater Antoniadi, and is stunning. Note the lens flares from sunlight entering the camera and reflecting inside.

I was surprised to learn that the end of Kaguya’s mission will come next week, on June 10! At 18:30 GMT it will impact the lunar surface; this is on the near side of the Moon but in the unlit portion, so that the impact can be studied by ground-based telescopes. This is just past full Moon, so the impact point will just barely be after local sunset on the Moon.

I don’t know if the impact will be visible to small telescopes or not; I rather doubt it (though I’m sure it won’t be visible to the unaided eye!), but I’ll post more info as I find it.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.