Chandrayaan-1 inaugurates 3-D imaging of the moon

December 18th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

ISRO

Washington, Dec 18 (ANI): An instrument aboard Indian Space Research Organizations (ISROs) Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has inaugurated 3-D imaging of the moon, revealing new information about the lunar surface.

Known as the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, NASAs guest instrument aboard Chandrayaan-1 has taken a new composite image, which provides new information about the Orientale Basin region of the moon.

The Orientale Basin is located on the moons western limb.

The data for this composite were captured by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper during the commissioning phase of Chandrayaan-1 as the spacecraft orbited the moon at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles).

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper is the first instrument to provide highly uniform imaging of the lunar surface.

Along with the length and width dimensions across a typical image, the instrument analyzes a third dimension color.

The composite image consists of a subset of Moon Mineralogy Mapper data for the Orientale region.

The image strip on the left is a color composite of data from 28 separate wavelengths of light reflected from the moon.

The blue to red tones reveal changes in rock and mineral composition, and the green color is an indication of the abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene.

The image strip on the right is from a single wavelength of light that contains thermal emission, providing a new level of detail on the form and structure of the region’’s surface.

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper provides scientists their first opportunity to examine lunar mineralogy at high spatial and spectral resolution.

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper provides us with compositional information across the moon that we have never had access to before, said Carle Pieters, the instruments principal investigator, from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Our ability to now identify and map the composition of the surface in geologic context provides a new level of detail needed to explore and understand Earths nearest neighbor, Pieters added. (ANI)

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