PIA13517: Color of the Moon
Target Name: Moon
Is a satellite of: Earth
Mission: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Spacecraft: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Instrument: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (WAC)
Product Size: 800 x 800 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Arizona State University
Other Information: More details and images at LROC
Full-Res TIFF: PIA13517.tif (1.922 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA13517.jpg (101.7 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

The LROC WAC is busily mapping the Moon in 7 UV and visible wavelengths (320 nm through 689 nm). This color composite shows 320 nm light in blue, 415 nm in green and 689 nm in red, scene is ~1000 km (~621 miles) wide.

Colors on the Moon are dominantly controlled by variations in iron and titanium content. The mare regions have low reflectance because they contain relatively high amounts of iron oxide (FeO). Some mare basalts contain unusually high amounts of titanium oxide (TiO2) in addition to iron oxide, making for even lower reflectance. TiO2 also shifts the color of the mare from red to blue.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center built and manages the mission for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera was designed to acquire data for landing site certification and to conduct polar illumination studies and global mapping. Operated by Arizona State University, LROC consists of a pair of narrow-angle cameras (NAC) and a single wide-angle camera (WAC). The mission is expected to return over 70 terabytes of image data.

Image Credit:
NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Image Addition Date:
2010-09-10