Amazing Moon Photos from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Regolith all the way down?

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

This image shows a bench crater in the lunar mare. Bench craters are so called because they have a small bench lining the interior of the crater wall. This image was released June 5, 2013.

Moon in 3D: Janssen K Crater

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

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]

Incredible, Shrinking Moon Revealed in Photos

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University/Smithsonian [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.

Moon's Aristarchus Crater

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

This photo taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows high sunlight reflecting off the moon's Aristarchus crater.

Moon in 3D: LRO Sees Korolev Lobate Scarp

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

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]

Apollo 17 Moon Landing Site Seen by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter


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.

Apollo 14 Landing Site


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.

Shadows on the Moon's Tycho Crater

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

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.

Apollo 12 Landing Site


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.

LRO topographic map of moon, June 2011

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Science Visualization Studio

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.

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