The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a video on October 16 showing a simulation of the movements “unusual“of the Earth and the Sun as seen from the south pole of the Moon.
The animation, developed by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio, compresses the course of three months (a little over three lunar days) into just two minutes.
The space agency points out that the virtual camera is located on the rim of the Shackleton crater and points to the Earth. The mountain on the horizon, some 136 kilometers away, is unofficially known as Mons Malapert.
“Here, the Sun slides around the horizon, never more than 1.5 degrees above or below it, while the Earth moves up and down, never deviating far from 0 ° longitude”, points out and NASA. “Earth appears to be upside down and spinning backwards. The perpetually low angle of the Sun produces extremely long shadows that swirl across the rugged lunar terrain. “
A little later in the video, during the ‘second month’ of viewing, the Earth passes in front of the Sun and creates an eclipse.
“For observers on Earth, this is a lunar eclipse, in which the moon passes through the shadow cast by the Earth. However, seen from the Moon, this is a Sun eclipse“, is explained in the video.
- This terrain simulation has been possible thanks to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) space probe, which has been mapping the lunar surface since 2009.
- NASA concludes that the LRO maps will be of Vital importance to “explore the moon and locate water and other resources therein.”
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