Experience a virtual journey to the lunar Peak of Eternal Light
22 Jul 2009The first public showing of 'The Peak of Eternal Light', a new movie created using images taken by ESA's SMART-1 lunar orbiter, took place on 20 July 2009 at the Ars Electronica Center (AEC), Linz, Austria. This movie was shown as part of a special event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, during this International Year of Astronomy.
A method known as shape-from-shading was used to produce the 3D lunar surface featured in the movie. The method was used in a novel way, applying it simultaneously to five images taken in diverse lighting conditions by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft. This model was originally developed for research purposes before being converted into a movie for AEC, Austria.
The movie will be showing in the high-tech 'Deep Space' projection room at AEC until the end of August. The movie is also available to download by following the links in the right-hand menu.
'The Peak of Eternal Light' was created by Björn Grieger, the liaison scientist for AMIE and SIR (SMART-1 Infrared Spectrometer) two instruments that were flown on the SMART-1 mission. Björn currently supports SIR-2, the successor to SIR which is flying on the Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1. In addition, Björn supported the calibration and archiving for all images taken by AMIE and is continuing to archive the SIR data.
SMART-1- a Small Mission for Advanced Research in Technology - was launched in 2003 to test solar electric propulsion and other deep-space technologies, while also performing scientific observations of the Moon. The mission ended in September 2006 when the spacecraft, in a planned manoeuvre, impacted the lunar surface.