The "halo" area around Apollo 15 landing site observed by Terrain Camera on Kaguya

Kaguya HD footage of the Moon. Credits: JAXA/NHK

[JAXA Press Release - 20.05.2008]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reported on the "halo" generated by the Apollo 15* lunar module engine exhaust plume that was detected in the data from Terrain Camera (TC) image.

This was an image processed by the SELENE mission instrument team from the observation data of the Apollo 15 landing site on the moon (the foot of the Apennine Mountains encircling the Mare Imbrium close to Hadley Rille). This is the world's first report on the detection of the "halo" through observations after the end of the Apollo program.

Through the produced three-dimensional image of the same landscape as that of the picture taken by the Apollo 15 crew, the spatial accuracy of the TC observation was verified. The three dimensional view of the TC clearly shows the layers of lava flows that erupted approximately about 3.2 billion years ago in the upper part of the Hadley Rille.

* The Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission, and fourth lunar landing mission of the Apollo program. The Apollo 15 was launched on July 26, 1971 (JST), landed on the Moon on July 31, 1971, and then landed back on Earth on August 8, 1971. This mission was the first "J mission" and was primarily concerned with scientific research, and stayed longer on the Moon than previous Apollo missions.

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