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Tracking Reiner Gamma

Tracking Reiner Gamma

Date: 30 March 2006
Satellite: SMART-1
Depicts: Animation of targeted Reiner Gamma observations
Copyright: ESA/Space-X (Space Exploration Institute)

The bright albedo feature called Reiner Gamma, is located in the Oceanus Procellarum on the near side of the Moon. From ground-based observations, this feature was first mis-identified as a crater. Spacecraft orbiting the Moon, however, revealed its true nature: Reiner Gamma is totally flat and consists of much brighter material than the surrounding dark mare. Only three features like this exist on the Moon. Apart from Reiner Gamma on the lunar near side, there are two more on the lunar far side, not visible from the Earth. The last two features are exactly opposite of the large impact sites which created Mare Imbrium and Mare Orientale. It is assumed that these features formed due to the reflection of the shock wave of these impacts on the opposite side of the Moon. The area also coincides with a strong magnetic anomaly.

SMART-1 performed a tracking observation on Reiner Gamma, which is shown in this animation. The accuracy of the pointing can be seen by comparing the above image sequence to the screenshot of the ESA planning tool MAPPS (Mapping and Payload Planning Software) for the observation sequence (see "Planning of Reiner Gamma Tracking Sequence" under related images).

The images in this animation are raw data and no flat field or other corrections have been applied.




14 January 2006


22:24:01 UTC


1599 km - 1688 km


57.8° W


8.1° N


144 m/pixel - 153 m/pixel


Last Update: 1 September 2019
17-Jun-2024 11:25 UT

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