An oblique look on the north lunar far west
European Space Agency
9 August 2006
This image, taken by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on
board ESA’s SMART-1 spacecraft, provides an ‘oblique’ view of the lunar
surface towards the limb, around the Mezentsev, Niepce and Merrill
craters, on the far side of the Moon.
“This cratered terrain is similar in topography to near-side
says SMART-1 Project scientist Bernard Foing, “while the far-side
equator bulge can reach heights of 7 km, and the South Pole Aitken
has depths down to 8 km”.
AMIE obtained this sequence on 16 May 2006. The imaged area is centred
at a latitude of 73?? North and a longitude of 124?? West(or 34
than the West limb seen from Earth).
Normally, the SMART-1 spacecraft points the AMIE camera straight down,
in the so-called Nadir pointing mode. In this image, AMIE was looking
out ‘the side window’ and pointing towards the horizon, showing all
craters in an oblique view. The largest craters shown are Mezentesev,
Niepce and Merrill, located on the lunar far side, not visible from the
Earth. Mezentsev is an eroded crater 89 kilometres in diameter, while
Niepce and Merrill have the same size 57 km.
Mezentsev is named after Yourij Mezentsev, a Soviet engineer (1929 -
1965) who was one of the first people to design rocket launchers.
Niepce was the French inventor of photography (1765 - 1833), while Paul
Merrill was an American astronomer (1887 - 1961).
For more information:
Bernard H. Foing
ESA SMART-1 Project Scientist
Email: bernard.foing @ esa.int
SPACE-X Space Exploration Institute
Email: jean-luc.josset @ space-x.ch