The South Korean orbiter was able to take pictures of a region on the moon where sunlight never reaches.
Back in December last year, the first-ever spacecraft from South Korea called the Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) or Danuri entered orbit around the moon. It is designed to create detailed maps of the lunar surface, as well as for other scientific studies of the Earth’s satellite. Using one of its cameras, the spacecraft was able to take incredibly detailed pictures of the far side of the Moon, where Shackleton Crater is located. Futurism.
The Danuri spacecraft, using the ShadowCam camera, took a stunning image of the wall and floor of Shackleton Crater, where sunlight never reaches.
This impact crater is located near the south pole of the moon. According to Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, USA, since the moon’s axis is only 1.5 degrees tilted, there are almost no seasons. The poles are in a constant state from dawn to dusk, and the Sun is always on the horizon. As a result, the craters near the poles never receive direct sunlight, and these regions are called the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon.
Until now, even the very sensitive camera of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter could not capture such detailed images of these dark regions. But among the six scientific instruments of the South Korean Danuri spacecraft is the ShadowCam camera, which was created by NASA. It was with her help that the device was able to look inside the Shackleton crater and show with unprecedented detail the walls and bottom of the crater, which scientists could see before.
“Now we know what a place where the Sun never shines looks like. There’s a lot of detail in the new image, including the trail left by a 5-meter rock that rolled off the crater wall,” says Robinson.
The scientists say the new images of Shackleton Crater are a test to test the performance of the Danuri instruments. The device will begin full-fledged scientific work in a couple of weeks and will study such permanently shadowed regions of the moon.
Focus already wrote about others images of the surface of the moonwhich have already been sent by the KPLO spacecraft, as well as South Korea’s plans to explore the moon.
As already wrote Focusscientists explain why the most frequently repeated “fact” about the moon and the earth’s oceans, is false.
Same Focus wrote about promising technological projectsincluding on the Moon, which may be implemented in the future by NASA.