NASA’s Stunning Tour of the Moon

On 18 June 2009, NASA launched the Lunar Recon­nais­sance Orbiter (LRO) from Cape Canaver­al to con­duct inves­ti­ga­tions that would pave the way for future lunar explo­ration. The main objec­tives? To scout for safe and pro­duc­tive land­ing sites, locate poten­tial resources (with spe­cial atten­tion to the pos­si­bil­i­ty of water ice) and char­ac­ter­ize the effects of pro­longed expo­sure to lunar radi­a­tion. All along, the LRO has col­lect­ed sci­en­tif­ic data about the moon’s topog­ra­phy and com­po­si­tion, result­ing in some of the most spec­tac­u­lar images ever tak­en of the moon. NASA’s God­dard Space Flight Cen­ter has assem­bled some of these images into a won­der­ful ani­mat­ed tour of the moon. A high-res­o­lu­tion ver­sion can be down­loaded here.

Bonus: Click through the images from the LRO cam­era or fol­low the LRO on Twit­ter.

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.