PIA16622: GRAIL's Gravity Tour of the Moon
Target Name: Moon
Is a satellite of: Earth
Mission: Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)
Spacecraft: GRAIL
Product Size: 1278 x 718 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16622.tif (2.754 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16622.jpg (114.8 kB)

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This movie shows the variations in the lunar gravity field as measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) during the primary mapping mission from March to May 2012. Very precise microwave measurements between two spacecraft, named Ebb and Flow, were used to map gravity with high precision and high spatial resolution. The field shown resolves blocks on the surface of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) and measurements are three to five times improved over previous data. Red corresponds to mass excesses and blue corresponds to mass deficiencies. The map shows more small-scale detail on the far side of the moon compared to the nearside because the far side has many more small craters.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the GRAIL mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is home to the mission's principal investigator, Maria Zuber. GRAIL is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about GRAIL, please visit http://grail.nasa.gov.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/GSFC

Image Addition Date:
2012-12-05