The LOIRP team has reproduced the “Picture of the Century” – an oblique view of the interior of Copernicus from Lunar Orbiter 2. In 1966 the crater was photographed from an oblique angle by Lunar Orbiter 2 as one of 12 “housekeeping” pictures that were taken to advance the roll of film between possible astronaut landing sites being surveyed. At the time this detailed image of the lunar surface was termed by NASA Scientist Martin Swetnick and subsequently quoted by Time magazine as “one of the great pictures of the century.”

Download the full high-resolution image [2.2GB] here

LOIRP Scientists have used the Lunar Orbiter 1 image of the Earth for climate studies, tying NASA’s Exploration Mission Directorate to its Science Mission Directorate. The detailed Lunar Orbiter 1-102H-2 image shows the edge of the Antarctic ice pack on August 23, 1966, near its September peak. It may be feasible, and less expensive, for SMD to put modest size telescopes on the Moon at the polar outpost for Earth climate monitoring. There have been ideas for looking outward from the Moon, but we may also want to use telescopes to look back at the Earth; the Lunar Orbiter 24” telescope accomplished this without even trying!

The team is also working with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) to correlate their images of the Earth with Nimbus I and Nimbus II that flew at about the same time. The original Nimbus images may have been recorded on an FR-900; by processing the original Nimbus 2” tapes there is a very good chance that they can provide NASA with polar ice pack data from ten years earlier.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: Dennis Wingo, LOIRP Lead

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