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cloudnine

Experimenting with LRO altimetry

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Although this is not really about observing the Moon, I've always been disappointed about how very very difficult (impossible?) it is to produce a movie from photos showing the evolving shadows during sunrise over lunar features. 

When observing along the terminator it is sometimes challenging to associate what you see with actual lunar features, so the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter altimetry dataset gave me an idea. Pulled the dataset into 'Blender' animation software and created a sun-like light-source which rises over the horizon.

This is the result for Tycho:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/h55RoiE7OFk

and for Aristarchus, Herodotus and Vallis Schroteri :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rBUmArxrnZc

I've not added surface albedo from imaging, as this is quite difficult to match up onto a curved surface ... and I reckon it is less confusing when interpreting the topological features. 

Would be interesting to hear if there are any particular lunar features for which you would like to see sunrise/sunset?

Enjoy!

Martin

Edited by cloudnine
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This is an attempt to embed the videos! Success!

Edited by cloudnine
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Would it be possible to do the Alpine valley?, I'd love to watch the central rille, one of my most stared at lunar features.

Edited by jetstream

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Thanks all for the positive comments. I'll do the Alpine Valley next, although because I'm using raw LRO data I'm not sure whether it will do the central rille justice... only one way to find out! 

In the meantime, here is the Promontorium Laplace and Sinus Iridum... keep those suggestions coming.
Seasons greetings!
Martin
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Another great animation.

I have just come in from spending a couple of hours lunar observing, a fair bit of that on Clavius which was just off the terminator and looked fantastic, any chance of giving this most interesting feature the treatment.

Thanks.

Seasons greetings to you and all the rest of us lunatics.

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Here you are, Jetstream.

I'm giving a small series of talks early next year on observing the Moon, which is why I'm doing this. Having run the simulation for Promontorium Laplace a couple of nights ago, and found with interest the point where Laplace's shadow extends into the terminator (10 second into the vid), I went outside last night and saw exactly that view ... have to say I was very pleased  :smiley: and it helped interpret what I was seeing.

I'm just looking forward to spotting the Tycho Dancing Roast Chicken on the next lunation (11 seconds into the Tycho movie).

Edited by cloudnine
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Thank you Martin, this is amazing. I observe the Alpine Valley area quite a bit and can see the central rille but I feel that there are better times for contrast than when I've seen it. So in the video the terminator is moving to the left as it progresses? AstroImp gave me the link for that great moon atlas and I've been trying to plan the best times...

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Thank you Martin, this is amazing. I observe the Alpine Valley area quite a bit and can see the central rille but I feel that there are better times for contrast than when I've seen it. So in the video the terminator is moving to the left as it progresses? AstroImp gave me the link for that great moon atlas and I've been trying to plan the best times...

Yes, it moves from right-to-left, i.e. sunrise. With respect to the zero-degrees longitude line (about one-third across from the left in the vid) the Sun starts at 10 degrees below the horizon and ends 60 degrees above. The problem with the simulation is that it assumes no libration (either axis) so it is not useful for prediction at all. But it is useful, at least for me, for interpreting the highlights and shadows. It also offers the possibility of a whole new unofficial nomenclature, such as the previously mentioned Tycho dancing chicken. :-)

When you say, 'that great moon atlas', it sounds cryptic... does you mean google moon, or Virtual Lunar Atlas, or something even better?  :smiley:

Martin

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I meant the Virtual Moon Atlas which I find really useful and seems accurate in its predictions. The view of the lunar surface along the terminator is stunning....everyone who has looked through the VX10 at the features along the terminator are amazed at the detail, contrast and clarity. I have wow moments everytime I obs this myself and I'm hoping to wind out the 15"/zoom under good seeing....the 10" crowds 400x in the best of seeing, fingers crossed I get more of that seeing :grin:

The simulations are very useful, I hope more are coming along! :smiley:

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More will be forthcoming, but after Christmas now. Each takes about 16 hours to process on a humble Mac Mini ... which is OK as I leave it running while I'm doing other things, like looking at the Moon, etc...

I wish you and all other forum members who stumble across this thread a good Christmas!

Martin

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Just watched enjoyed the Alpine Valley simulation, thanks for taking the trouble to post.

Look forward to more after the festivities.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year.

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And now... Mare Crisium sunrise and sunset. At some point I'll try and add actual albedo to the images as Proclus looks a bit sad without its rays! However really like how the wrinkle ridges outline the 'inner' mare.

Martin

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Wonderful Martin, I'm pleased you've found the time to produce some more of these animations.

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Keep them coming Martin! These show how well the views can be along the terminator, and actually just after it passes. The other night viewing the Mare Crisium along the terminator it felt like I could reach out and grab those "little" chunks of mountain! Your illustration highlights this and how all features are enhanced at certain times on the moon.Fantastic.

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Hey,

I've also been experimenting with digital renderings of the Moon in the recent weeks using LRO elevation and albedo data  :)

Here are some of my works. They are too big for attachments (with a size of 4000x4000), so I uploaded then to an external site. Click to enlarge.

The Moon illuminated from an "impossible" direction

H9kEA6Y.png

The far side of the Moon

4dOCmy5.png

Exaggerated elevation

l59v9g8.png

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Hi Bartosz,

Looking good. Especially like the first one and the impossible illumination!

Nice to see the albedo info overlaid. How did you create this? Was it using Blender or something else entirely? Very interested to know :-)

Martin

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And now... Clavius sunrise... at low angles you could imagine the clangers living here!

Martin

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