Unprecedented NASA Video Shows an Entire Day on the Lunar Surface

The visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter global elevation maps and image mosaics. The lighting is derived from actual Sun angles during lunar days in 2018.

NASA has released a mesmerizing new video of the moon’s surface.

The mind-bending documentary-style footage features high-resolution images snapped b the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which reveals a never-before-seen view at the surface of Earth’s natural satellite.

NASA’s Breathtaking moon imagery pairs beautifully with Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune (“Moonlight”).

The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera. Image Credit: NASA
The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera. Image Credit: NASA

The unprecedented video footage follows the sun over the course of one lunar day, bringing the moon to life.

Enjoy the course of one lunar day, as the footage slowly shows an endless landscape of a dozen different craters and other surface features that offer a never-before-seen view of the moon.

The visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter global elevation maps and image mosaics. The lighting is derived from actual Sun angles during lunar days in 2018. Image Credit: NASA
The visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter global elevation maps and image mosaics. The lighting is derived from actual Sun angles during lunar days in 2018. Image Credit: NASA

The viewer follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon. The sprawling ray system surrounding Copernicus crater, for example, is revealed beneath receding shadows at sunrise and later slips back into darkness as night encroaches.

The footage offers a closeup view of the Theophilus, Cyrillus, and Catharina craters for sunrise and moves on to show the Pennine and Caucasus mountain ranges, Copernicus crater, Aristarchus plateau, and the Orientale basin.

NASA then takes us to see the massive Schrödinger basin before moving back out to a view of the lunar far side.

“The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera,” explains NASA.

“The viewer follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon. The sprawling ray system surrounding Copernicus crater, for example, is revealed beneath receding shadows at sunrise and later slips back into darkness as night encroaches.”

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