Its mission was launched in August 2022 and periodically provides useful information about the Silver Globe. The tool was developed by representatives of Malin Space Science Systems and Arizona State University. This highly sensitive camera takes high-resolution images of the permanently shaded areas of our natural satellite.
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By “continuously” we mean areas where sunlight never reaches. Getting to know them better should help us understand the Moon and prepare for all eventualities, for example for the Artemis mission. This program will eventually place people in the Silver Globe and establish permanent bases there.
Danuri entered lunar orbit in December of last year, and ShadowCam has taken images of the north and south poles regularly since then. One of these images shows the floor of Shackleton Crater, located near the South Pole. With a sensitivity about 200 times higher than the narrow-angle camera for lunar reconnaissance, the new instrument is able to work even in extremely dark environments.
Thanks to the very high sensitivity, ShadowCam is able to capture even those areas where direct sunlight does not reach
Two types of additional lighting allow the ShadowCam to capture images in areas not directly exposed to sunlight. Where does this light come from? For example, by reflecting sunlight from the Earth and projecting it onto the surface of the Moon. The second source may be sunlight reflection from nearby geological features, such as sufficiently high mountains and crater walls at the poles.
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You can see an example of the latter phenomenon above. The image shows the rim of Marvin Crater, located about 26 kilometers from the South Pole. The above image includes the central peak of Aristarchus Crater. Because while ShadowCam was primarily designed to use secondary illumination from lunar geological features, in this case, it used the glow of our own planet.
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