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The highest resolution photos ever taken of the moon from orbit are revealed by Indian space agency

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The highest resolution photos ever taken of the moon from orbit are revealed by Indian space agency after being captured by Chandrayaan-2 probe

  • The images show the inner surface of a large impact crater named Boguslawsky near the moon’s south pole
  • Boulders and small impact craters can be seen dotted across the moon’s surface in the high-res photographs
  • The probe took the shots 62 miles (100 kilometres) up in orbit with a resolution of 12 inches (30 centimetres)
  • The success comes in the wake of last month’s crash of the probe’s lander during its descent onto the moon 

The highest-quality photographs ever taken of the moon’s surface from lunar orbit have been released by the Indian space agency.

Taken by the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on September 5, the images reveal a region of the moon that lies within the 8.7 mile (14 km) -wide impact crater Boguslawsky.

The shot — which was taken from 62 miles (100 km) above the lunar surface — reveals boulders and craters with a pixel resolution of 12 inches (30 cm). 

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The highest-quality photographs ever taken of the moon's surface from lunar orbit have been released by the Indian Space Research Organisation

The highest-quality photographs ever taken of the moon’s surface from lunar orbit have been released by the Indian Space Research Organisation

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s second lunar probe, Chandrayaan-2’s mission is to study the moon’s topography, its chemical composition and the distribution of its minerals.

The craft has eight different scientific instruments to study the moon — among which are two imaging devices: the Terrain Mapping Camera 2 and the Orbiter High Resolution Camera.

The latter is presently tasked with taking ultra-high-resolution images of the lunar surface as the probe orbits around the moon twice.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation, the latest transmission of data from the spacecraft includes the ‘sharpest images ever from a lunar orbiter platform.’

These photos from the Orbiter High Resolution Camera follow images taken by the Terrain Mapping Camera in August.

The other instrument, however, had been used to capture craters that were located in the Moon’s northern polar region, unlike Boguslawsky, which is located closer to the lunar south pole.

Taken by the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on September 5, the images reveal a region of the moon that lies within the 8.7 mile (14 km) -wide impact crater Boguslawsky

Taken by the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on September 5, the images reveal a region of the moon that lies within the 8.7 mile (14 km) -wide impact crater Boguslawsky

The craft has two imaging devices: the Terrain Mapping Camera 2 and the Orbiter High Resolution Camera. The latter is presently tasked with taking ultra-high-resolution images of the lunar surface as the probe orbits around the moon twice

The craft has two imaging devices: the Terrain Mapping Camera 2 and the Orbiter High Resolution Camera. The latter is presently tasked with taking ultra-high-resolution images of the lunar surface as the probe orbits around the moon twice

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The images are a boon for the mission, which was struck by disaster in early September when the spacecraft’s lander, Vikram, was lost.

Vikram crash-landed on the lunar surface after its computer-controlled descent deviated from its intended approach.

Researchers have reported being able to pin-point the location of the crash site, and are working to re-establish contact with the lander.

WHAT IS CHANDRAYAAN-2? 

Chandrayaan-2 is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) second lunar probe. It is comprised of three modules, an Orbiter, a Lander called Vikram, and a Rover called Pragyan.

The Orbiter has a terrain mapping camera to help prepare 3D maps of the moon’s surface, an X-ray spectrometer looking for major elements including titanium and sodium, and another high resolution camera to help the other modules land safely.

Vikram had an instrument to detect seismic activity on the moon, and a thermal probe that will examine the thermal conductivity of the lunar surface.

Pragyan had an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer that examines the elemental composition of the surface and a laser induced breakdown spectroscope which looks at the abundance of various elements nearby.

The entire mission has cost around 10 billion rupees (£120million).

The Indian Space Research Organisation's Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, seen here after construction in the integration facility

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, seen here after construction in the integration facility

  

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