In Brief

Vote for NASA Moon Probe's Best Lunar Art Shot (Video)

NASA's moon-circling Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, will celebrate its 5th anniversary in orbit on June 18.

To mark the occasion, the space agency officials are putting together a collection, called "The Moon as Art," and they want your vote to decide which LRO image will grace the cover.

To vote, visit NASA's website:

The contenders include, "Starry Night" which was created with spacecraft's Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, or LOLA. This instrument bounces laser pulses off the moon to measure its surface elevations and slopes. The resulting image is a circular map marking craters and other surface features with swirling blues and greens — hence the allusion to Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting.

Laminated Moon Map. Buy Here (Image credit: Store)

Another, dubbed "Clerke Crater," shows flows of granular material creeping down the side of a crater wall. "Linné Topography" might look like a half-eaten Gobstopper, but it's actually a color stereo image of NASA describes as a "very young and beautifully preserved impact crater," known as Linné.

Meanwhile, "Diviner North Pole" shows nighttime temperatures at the moon's north pole as measured by the orbiter's Diviner instrument. And "Tycho Central Peak" shows the 6562-foot (2 kilometer) mountain above the Tycho crater floor.

Voting opened Friday (May 30) and ends June 6. The winning image will be unveiled on June 18, the same date that LRO launched from Florida in 2009.

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Megan Gannon Contributing Writer

Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity on a Zero Gravity Corp. to follow students sparking weightless fires for science. Follow her on Twitter for her latest project.