Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

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

LightSail - Flight by Light

Support LightSail!

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.

I want to help!

Featured Images

Surveyor 7 panorama

Earth, as seen by Surveyor 7
Cratered caprock within Elorza crater, Mars
Point Lake, Curiosity sol 302
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!