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NASA’s Captured the Intricate Beauty of the Dark Side of the Moon in One Short Video

Watch this time lapse trip all the way around the Moon

Launched in 2009, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has long outlived its intended one year mission to take gorgeous, high-resolution images of the Moon. A perk of this extended lifetime is that the LRO team managed to snap tons more photos, of all different parts of the Moon under different conditions. Depending on the orientation of the satellite, the Moon and the Sun, different parts of the lunar surface will appear bathed in light. By putting them all together in a series of composite images, you get the above video, a fascinating trip all the way around the Moon.

But the video does not begin to do justice to the quality of the images. So here, from the Arizona State University team that works with the LRO’s camera, are high quality composites of the Moon.

Four composite views of the Moon. Photo: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

And, because we want to be fair, here are two more photos, showing the Moon’s North and South poles.

The Moon’s North pole. Photo: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

 

The Moon’s South pole. Photo: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

h/t PetaPixel

More from Smithsonian.com:

How the Moon Was Made
The Moon Had Water Since the Day It Was Born

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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