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NASA's LRO gives lunar surface the 3D treatment

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September 26, 2012

Lobate scarps (a type of cliff) on the moon can be viewed in 3D thanks to NASA's LRO (Phot...

Lobate scarps (a type of cliff) on the moon can be viewed in 3D thanks to NASA's LRO (Photo: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University)

Image Gallery (4 images)

It’s time to pull out the old red/cyan 3D glasses for these anaglyphs created with high-resolution stereo images beamed back from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Having revealed the fate of the Apollo lunar flags earlier this year, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is now enabling the creation of anaglyphs to bring the third dimension to craters, volcanic flows, lava tubes and tectonic features on the lunar surface.

Unlike consumer 3D cameras such as the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D that capture a 3D image in one go using two separate lenses, the LROC captures two different perspectives of the same location on two consecutive orbits. These separate images, which are each at a resolution of 0.5 to 2 meters (1.6 to 6.5 ft) a pixel, are then combined into one anaglyph that can be viewed in 3D using red/cyan glasses.

A small number of anaglyphs has already been released, but the amount of images will continue to increase with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) team from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University currently working on a processing system that will automatically generate anaglyphs from the pairs of images beamed back to earth.

If you’ve got a pair of red/cyan glasses handy, click through to the gallery to view the moon in all its 3D glory. Additional images will be released through the LROC website and NASA LRO website as they become available.

Source: NASA

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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