NASA's Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) is celebrating five years of floating around the moon, capturing fascinating images and data, and helping us understand more about our closest heavenly body. The actual orbit anniversary is coming up on June 18. To celebrate, NASA has culled through images created using data from the LRO and picked out five of the best. It's up to the public to narrow the selection down to the finest of them all.
The images highlight the variety of data the LRO has beamed back to us here on Earth. One image, titled "Starry Night," is mottled blue, red, and yellow. It was created with information generated by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, a laser device that beams pulses onto the lunar surface to unveil the nooks and crannies of the moon.
A stark and stunning black-and-white image titled "Tycho Central Peak" shows a sunrise in the Tycho crater. It's both alien and familiar. This one gets my vote. It looks like Ansel Adams hopped a ride on an Apollo mission and laid in wait to catch the crater at just the right moment.
The other images include a rainbow-colored topographical view of an impact crater, a visualization of temperatures on the north pole, and the curious tendril-like geography of the Clerke crater.
NASA asks us to view the moon as art. Any one of these five chosen images could grace the wall of an art gallery. Voting is open until June 6, and the winning image will be revealed on June 18.