This view of the moon shows the vast Janssen K crater in 3D as seen by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. It is a roughly 12-kilometer-diameter crater on the floor of the large Janssen Crater. Image released Sept. 25, 2012. [Full Story]
This photo taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows high sunlight reflecting off the moon's Aristarchus crater.
This new 3D image of the moon was created by using images of the same spot of the lunar surface taken from different angles by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. It shows the Korolev lobate scarp, a type of cliff mostly found in the moon's highlands. Image released Sept. 25, 2012. [Full Story]
The twists and turns of the last tracks left by humans on the moon crisscross the surface in this LRO image of the Apollo 17 site. In the thin lunar soil, the trails made by astronauts on foot can be easily distinguished from the dual tracks left by the lunar roving vehicle, or LRV. Also seen in this image are the descent stage of the Challenger lunar module and the LRV, parked to the east.
Sunrise shadows on the moon's Tycho crater, as seen by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 10, 2011. NASA released the photo on June 30.
The paths left by astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell on both Apollo 14 moon walks are visible in this LRO image. (At the end of the second moon walk, Shepard famously hit two golf balls.) The descent stage of the lunar module Antares is also visible.
The tracks made in 1969 by astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, the third and fourth humans to walk on the moon, can be seen in this LRO image of the Apollo 12 site. The location of the descent stage for Apollo 12's lunar module, Intrepid, also can be seen.
This image shows a comparison of the detail of a 2005 global moon elevation map (left) and one generated by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2010. NASA released this image on June 21, 2011.
Resolution comparison between nominal orbit images of the Apollo 17 landing site and the new low orbit image.
NASA's LRO recently discovered the Russian Robotic rover Lunokhod 1 that landed on the moon in 1970 and vanished from detection in September 1971.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this shot of a natural bridge on the moon. It's about 7 meters wide on top and 20 m across, and likely formed following the dual collapse of a lava tube. The ground at the base of the bridge is about 6 to 12 meters below the surface. North is up.
This image, taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, is the most detailed view of the moon's far side to date.
The colors in this image reveal information about the slope and roughness of the moon's surface.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is kick-starting a volley of robot craft that will explore the Moon prior to a human return. Image
LOLA data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows three complementary views of the near side of the moon: the topography (left) along with new maps of the surface slope values (middle) and the roughness of the topography (right). All three views are centered on the relatively young impact crater Tycho, with the Orientale basin on the left side.
A topographic map of the moon, centered on the Apollo 15 landing site, highlighting the Apennine and Caucasus ranges and the fairly subtle wrinkling in Serenitatis. The false colors indicate elevation: red areas are highest and blue lowest. The map was created by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/GSFC/MIT/SVS. Full story.
In this image, the Apollo 11 lunar lander and it shadow can be seen in a view from NASA's new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is scouting the moon for new landing sites for future astronauts.
This image shows daytime (left) and nighttime lunar temperatures in Kelvin recorded by the Diviner instrument on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in new images released Sept. 17, 2009.
NASA's LRO and LCROSS moon probes blast off atop an Atlas 5 rocket in this June 18, 2009 image to begin NASA's lunar return. This image was taken as the ULA rocket launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
This graphic (not to scale) shows that the moon's crust is thickest on the central far side, and becomes thinner towards the north pole in a manner described with a simple math formula. The highlands appear to have formed early in the moon's history, when a magma ocean, shaped by tides caused by Earth's gravity, heated the moon's floating crust non-uniformly. Since then, the magma ocean has solidified.
Cratered regions near the moon's Mare Nubium region, as photographed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LROC instrument, in a region 1,400 meters (0.87 miles) wide.
Lunar Orbiter IV took this photo of the moon's south pole in May of 1967. It has been digitized and restored through the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project. For more images like this one, please visit the project's Web site, Moonviews.com.
The truck that is driving LRO to Florida left the Goddard Space Flight Center before dawn to avoid as much traffic as possible.
This annotated figure shows the positions of various landmarks surrounding the Apollo 14 landing site on the moon's Fra Mauro highlands as seen by the LRO spacecraft. The small white arrows highlight locations where the astronauts' path can be clearly seen.
Artist's rendition of Centaur upper stage rocket approaching the moon with the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), "shepherding satellite," attached.
Researchers led by Brown geologist Alberto Saal analyzed lunar volcanic glasses, such these gathered by the Apollo 15 mission, and used a new analytic technique to detect water. The discovery strongly suggests that water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence – and perhaps since it was first created.
This is a radar image of the south pole region of the moon showing Shackleton crater and Shoemaker crater where the Lunar Prospector orbiter was impacted into. The south pole is about on the center of the left rim.
LRO image of Tycho crater. The proposed Constellation site is to the North of the crater's central peak.
The Earth as seen from the moon on June 12, 2010 is the subject of this photo from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a mosaic taken during a calibration sequence. Full Story.
In a particularly dramatic example, a thrust fault pushed crustal materials (arrows) up the side of the farside impact crater named Gregory (2.1 degrees N, 128.1 degrees E). By mapping the distribution and determining the size of all lobate scarps, the tectonic and thermal history of the Moon can be reconstructed over the past billion years.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter created this image of the moon's south pole, showing shapes reminiscent of cosmic ice or clouds. Not a single photograph, the image combines 1,700 images collected over 6 lunar days (6 Earth months) into a multi-temporal illumination map. Analyzing the digitized images, each pixel in the map represents the percentage of time each spot on the moon's surface was illuminated by the sun. Since the moon's spin axis remains almost perpindicular to the ecliptic plane, some areas near the lunar poles can stay in permanent darkness or nearly continuous sunlight. The Shackleton Crater lies at near the center of the map.
An image of debris, ejected from the moon's Cabeus crater and into the sunlight, about 20 seconds after the Centaur rocket's impact. The inset shows a close-up with the direction of the sun and the Earth.
An illustration showing the stream of charged hydrogen ions carried from the sun to the moon by the solar wind. Scientists think this process might explain the possible presence of hydroxyl or water on the moon.
A ULA Atlas 5 rocket carrying NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellites (LRO/LCROSS) rolls out from its Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., to its launch pad for a June 18, 2009 launch.
This image shows a 2007 conceptual design for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
The west wall of the moon's Aristarchus crater seen obliquely by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) from an altitude of only 16 miles (26 km).
Low reflectance deposits are seen along the margins of Lassell G and Lassell K. Image released March 14, 2013.
A circular feature piques curiosity and encourages speculation. Image released March 13, 2013.
An asymmetric impact crater on the Lassell Massif revealing low reflectance material. Image released March 13, 2013.
Impact melt deposit in the crater Rümker E. Image released March 8, 2013.
An impact crater modified by a wrinkle ridge. Image released March 6, 2013.
Collapse feature in the impact melt within the floor of Copernicus crater. Image released March 5, 2013.
An oblique view of the northern portion of the Gruithuisen Gamma volcanic dome. Image released March 4, 2013.
Debris flows mantle the floor of an unnamed highland crater. Image released Feb. 28, 2013.
A recent impact in Oceanus Procellarum produced a spectacular, circular melt pond. Image released Feb. 27, 2013.
An assortment of boulder trails decorate the floor of Scaliger crater in the southern farside highlands. Image released Feb. 26, 2013.