Go Look At The Moon!

This is the coolest thing online I’ve seen in a long time. A team of amateur astronomers took over 1000 pictures of tiny areas of the Moon. 288 of them were chosen and mosaiced together. They describe the result far better than I do:

The end result is a high resolution 87.4 megapixel image of the Moon, larger even then previous images taken by some of the world’s largest observatories, allowing features as small as 1km to be clearly seen.

This is the world’s record for the largest mosaic of the Moon ever made, and it’s available for you to view in full detail (!) at their site, Lunar World Record 2009. Go to the image page, and you should see this:

What’s incredible is that you can zoom in.

And in.

And in, at ridiculously high resolution.

Do you see those things that look like dried up rivers emanating from that crater in the highest-resolution image on the lower left? That looks like a possible glacier path to me! Does anyone know what that feature is?

Clearly, I am having so much fun (and spending so much time) playing with this “virtual astronomy” toy! So go play. Go.


  1. #1 Duae Quartunciae
    July 8, 2009

    I went. I played. Wow. What this tool needs is a way to identify the co-ordinates of what you have zoomed in upon. I want to pass on a feature I found… so I made an image and uploaded to my picasaweb album. See line of craters. It looks a little bit like your gully, but it has a line of depressions at one end, as if a large bouncing ball made the depressions and then rolled a bit further. Curious.

  2. #2 NewEnglandBob
    July 8, 2009

    That is so cool! I did get it stuck on the fourth zoom but a refresh sets it back to start. One can also zoom out to a tiny moon (moonlet?).

  3. #3 sean hogge
    July 8, 2009

    This is awesome, in every sense of the overused word “awesome.” There is no hyperbole for something like this.

    Thank you!

  4. #4 Allen
    July 8, 2009

    The “channel” is a rille. Check Wiki or with lunar and planetary person.

  5. #5 Brian Shiro
    July 9, 2009

    That’s a rille. They’re likely collapsed lava tubes or the result of dike intrusions. Some people think they could be tectonic extensional features.

  6. #6 Dave Gill
    July 9, 2009

    Hadley Rille – Apollo 15 landing site – probably the coolest of the Apollo sites.

  7. #7 Agencja Reklamowa
    July 10, 2009

    WoW! That’s so fantastic! I was walking on the moon. And I think that I know where I will buy the house;) Really fantastic page and congratulations for creators!

  8. #8 Thomas
    July 11, 2009

    Just had a wonderful idea: Google Moon

    You could zoom in to lunar formations and interactively get their names and selenographic coordinates.

  9. #9 mediahuset
    January 15, 2011

    advokat bergen
    I really should get back into actual observing. I can afford about any scope Meade or Celestron makes at this point in my life. I’d like to hook up a CCD and a computer to do time exposures and image stacking and whatnot, but I just don’t have the oopmh to get going on it.

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