China publishes first moon picture

First image of the Moon from Chang'e-1

[Xinhuanet Press Release - 26.11.2007]
China published the first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1 on Monday morning, marking the success of the country's first lunar probe project.

The area covered by the picture, about 460 kilometers in length and 280 km in width, was located within a 54 to 70 degrees south latitude and 57 to 83 degrees east longitude, according to the BACC. The area pictured was part of the moon's highland and was mainly composed of plagioclase, a common rock-forming element. On the surface were craters of different sizes, shapes, structures and ages, the BACC sources said.

"The dark patch in the picture's upper right side shows the surface blanketed by basalt, a hard and dense volcanic rock," the sources said.

Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration, said the picture was very clear and of very good quality.

"It shows that the camera and the ground control and application systems are all working normally," said Sun at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

The picture was pieced together by 19 images, each covering a width of 60 kilometers on the moon's surface. The far right of the picture was the first area to be captured by the CCD camera aboardChang'e-1. All the image data was collected on Nov. 20 and Nov. 21 and processed into a three-dimensional picture in several days after being transmitted back to Earth.

Read the full press release here: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/26/content_7145873.htm.