3D Moon images and how to snap them!

Put on your 3D glasses 😎. Seen here is a 3D image of the Hell Q crater, made using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

The geologically young, 3.4 km wide Hell Q crater in gorgeous 3D. Credit: NASA LRO
For you to see the crater depth in the image, you need to use any of the commercially available Red/Blue type 3D glasses online or in physical stores.

Typical of fresh impact craters, you see streaks of material coming out of the crater. This is material that was ejected when the asteroid/comet impacted the lunar surface. You also see some dark streaks. Those are likely glass, which formed under the intense heating of the impact followed by quick cooling.

So how did NASA LRO scientists get this 3D image?

As the LRO spacecraft is about to pass above a feature of interest, it is made to tilt by a certain degree to take a focused image with its high resolution camera. On the next orbit, as the same feature comes into view, LRO is tilted again, this time in the opposite direction to get another image. These two images are then processed here on Earth to make 3D anaglyphs.

Two images of the same feature being captured by NASA LRO at varying angles in two consecutive orbits, to create a 3D image. Credit: NASA LRO

LRO has taken several 3D images of interesting lunar features, here are some of my favorites.

3D image of the central mountain of the Maunder crater on the Moon’s far side. Is it peaking out (pun intended)? πŸ˜‰ Credit: NASA LRO
The raised wrinkled ridge of Dorsa Whiston. Credit: NASA LRO
Part of the largest valley on the Moon, Vallis SchrΓΆteri. The 3D image allows you to get a feel of the 500 meter deep valley. Credit: NASA LRO

And last but not the least, the entire Moon in 3D, which even rotates slightly as you shift perspective! ❀

The Moon in 3D. Credit: NASA LRO


Did you know?

The excellent NASA LRO Outreach team provides printable 3D models of famous features on the Moon, including Apollo landing sites! Go to http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/archive/downloads and call that one friend of yours who owns a 3D printer! πŸ˜‰

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