Image: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's view of Tycho central peak

June 19, 2014
Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

(Phys.org) —Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) celebrates its fifth anniversary in space. LRO launched from Florida on June 18, 2009. After a four-day journey, the orbiter successfully entered lunar orbit on June 23. In the succeeding five years, LRO has continued to shape our view of our nearest celestial neighbor.

LRO data has shown us the tracks and equipment left behind from the Apollo astronauts, created the most precise map of the lunar surface, discovered the coldest known temperatures in the solar system, mapped the distribution of hydrogen and possibly water mixed in the lunar soil, identified craters and many other exciting science discoveries

In honor of the , the LRO project kicked off the Moon as Art Campaign. The public was asked to select a favorite orbiter image of the moon for the cover of a special image collection. After two weeks of voting, the public has selected this image of Tycho Central Peak as its favorite moon image. The stunningly beautiful Tycho Central Peak rests inside an impact crater and has a boulder over 100 meters wide (about 328 feet) at its summit. It showcases a breathtaking view of the lunar landscape.

Tycho crater's central peak complex, shown here, is about 9.3 miles (15 km) wide, left to right (southeast to northwest in this view). A very popular target with amateur astronomers, Tycho is about 51 miles (82 km) in diameter. The central peak's summit is 1.24 miles (2 km) above the crater floor.

Explore further: Sunrise view of Tycho crater's peak

Related Stories

Sunrise view of Tycho crater's peak

June 30, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- On June 10, 2011, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft angled its orbit 65° to the west, allowing the LRO Camera NACs to capture a dramatic sunrise view of Tycho crater.

Rivers of rock

June 25, 2012

The Moon may not have ever had liquid water on its surface — despite the use of the term mare, Latin for “sea” and moniker for the large regions of darker material visible from Earth — but liquid did indeed ...

Spectacular view of Aitken Crater from sideways LRO glance

January 20, 2011

When people look out of the corner of their eyes, they often don't see things very clearly. But that's not the case for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's cameras. Occasionally LRO's cameras are commanded to look off to the ...

Scientists suggest evidence of recent lunar volcanism

April 16, 2012

A team of researchers at India’s Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) claims it has found evidence of relatively recent volcanic activity on the Moon, using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Chadrayaan-1 ...

NASA releases first interactive mosaic of lunar north pole

March 18, 2014

Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon's north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an ...

Recommended for you

Hubble catches a transformation in the Virgo constellation

December 9, 2016

The constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is especially rich in galaxies, due in part to the presence of a massive and gravitationally-bound collection of over 1300 galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. One particular member of ...

Scientists sweep stodgy stature from Saturn's C ring

December 9, 2016

As a cosmic dust magnet, Saturn's C ring gives away its youth. Once thought formed in an older, primordial era, the ring may be but a mere babe – less than 100 million years old, according to Cornell-led astronomers in ...

Khatyrka meteorite found to have third quasicrystal

December 9, 2016

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.S. and Italy has found evidence of a naturally formed quasicrystal in a sample obtained from the Khatyrka meteorite. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Jun 19, 2014
Ah! Thanks, it's my new desktop image.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.