Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Chandrayaan-1's first picture of the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

11-11-2008 11:11 CST

Topics:

Here is the first image taken by Chandrayaan-1 of the Moon, taken while it was still in Earth orbit on November 4. It's a bit underwhelming -- until you realize that the camera was designed to take photos of the Moon from a distance 3,000 times closer than this.

Chandrayaan-1's first image of the Moon

ISRO

Chandrayaan-1's first image of the Moon
While still in Earth orbit (and very nearly at Earth's distance from the Moon, 311,200 kilometers away), Chandrayaan-1 snapped its first photo of its eventual target, the Moon. The camera was designed to take images from an eventual 100-kilometer science orbit, so this photo has a resolution more than 3,000 times poorer than Chandrayaan-1's science images will have. As the mission progresses, more photos should become available on the ISRO website.
Apart from the low resolution of the image there's also a pixelated nature to the gray levels, particularly obvious near the terminator (day-night boundary), that suggests to me that the exposure was set a little short, so they had to crank up the brightness quite a bit. This may be due to the fact that the Moon is in a crescent phase; at this high phase angle, a smaller fraction of the Sunlight that strikes the surface is reflected back to the observer than there would be if the Moon were fuller-phase.

It may not be an impressive image but it's a milestone, and there is hopefully much more to come.

 
See other posts from November 2008

 

Or read more blog entries about:

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.

Donate

Featured Images

LightSail 2 and Prox-1
Bill Nye at LightSail 2 pre-ship review
LightSail 2 pre-ship review team photo
Swirling maelstrom
More Images

Featured Video

Class 9: Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!