The shadow knows! China’s Chang’e 3 landing site. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The shadow knows! China’s Chang’e 3 landing site.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) continues to circle the Moon, with the LRO Camera (LROC) team snagging impressive images of the lunar terrain.

Posted by J. Stopar of Arizona State University on October 9, a set of impressive images of China’s Chang’e 3 landing site is now available for your own surveillance.

In December 2013, the one-ton Chinese lander set down in Mare Imbrium near Laplace F crater, then dispatched the Yutu rover.

LROC imaged the China lander and Yutu rover once each month from February to May of this year.

In the May 10, 2014 image, the lander casts a long shadow to the northwest. Yutu’s shadow (located some 55 feet (17 meters) southwest of the lander) can just barely be discerned in this image, and the blast zone around the lander is nearly indistinguishable from its surroundings.

An animated time-series of shadows is also posted – those shadows cast by the lander and rover as they trace the Sun’s position in the sky. The first image of July 15, 2009 was taken before Chang’e 3 arrived on the surface. Between the second and third frames (December 25, 2013 and January 21, 2014, the Yutu rover can be seen in different positions along its traverse.

Also check out a pan and zoom capability that takes you around the Chang’e 3 landing site.

Image of China's Chang'e 3 lunar lander taken by Yutu rover. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Image of China’s Chang’e 3 lunar lander taken by Yutu rover.
Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences

As LROC continues imaging the landing zone, researchers will be able to assess small changes in the surface around the lander and rover over time.

Yutu Rover wheels across Moon. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Yutu Rover wheels across Moon.
Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see these unique images credited to NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University go to:

http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/posts/813

and

http://featured-sites.lroc.asu.edu/view_site/45

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