Monday, June 8, 2009

You've never seen the moon like this...

In October, 2007, Japan launched the largest Moon-mission since Apollo. The spacecraft Kaguya was designed to study the origins of the Moon and its geologic evolution, obtain information about the lunar surface environment and conduct radio science while in lunar orbit.

Kaguya is loaded with 13 scientific instruments, including imagers, a radar sounder, a laser altimeter, an X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer and a gamma ray spectrometer.

And someone had the genius idea to mount two HD cameras on it as well.

To see the HD footage in full resolution, follow this link and this link and make sure to click on the "HD" button!

If you don’t want to bother following those links (which I have so kindly provided for you), the versions here are still pretty cool.

By the way, Kaguya’s mission is scheduled to end this Wednesday in spectacular fashion. They’re going to crash this thing into the surface of the moon so they can study the impact from ground based telescopes.

Talk about getting every last drop of value from a piece of hardware!

Thanks to Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog for the heads-up and to Wikipedia for providing more detail.

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