Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


This Insane New Image of The Moon’s Tycho Carter Is So Detailed It Barely Looks Real

A new telescope system has managed to capture the highest resolution image of the Moon ever taken from Earth using radar technology.

The feat took years of work, and the result is spectacularly detailed. The focal point is Tycho Crater, one of the most prominent impressions on the Moon. And even though it was taken from hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, the picture makes you feel as though you are flying right over the surface of Earth’s only natural satellite.


The resolution of the resulting image is five meters by five meters and contains roughly 1.4 billion pixels. Together, it encompasses the entire breadth of the Tycho Crater, all 86 kilometers in diameter (53 miles), plus much more.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

From this bird’s eye view, every wrinkle on the beat-up surface of the Moon seems to stand out in stark detail.

kp TR037B No0019 three pass 09 sub32000 coaf img rs 4 cv 1 1 1280x1142Radar image of Tycho Crater. (NRAO/GBO/Raytheon/NSF/AUI)

The National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is located in West Virginia and is the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope. This allows astronomers to point its beady eye in any direction they please.

Earlier this year, the satellite was outfitted with a new radar transmitter, developed by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, which is capable of sending pulses out into near space.

As each of these signals bounces off the surface of the Moon, it is retrieved by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)’s Very Long Baseline Array, which is also headquartered in West Virginia.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“The stored pulses are compared to each other and analyzed to produce an image,” explains GBO engineer Galen Watts. 

In January, researchers tested the system by taking a radar image of the Apollo 15 landing site, proving that they could, in fact, take high definition images from Earth.

5M smallThe radar image of the Apollo 15 landing site. (Sophia Dagnello/NRAO/GBO/Raytheon/AUI/NSF/USGS)

Months later, they successfully snagged an even higher resolution image of Tycho Crater. 

“The transmitter, the target, and the receivers are all constantly moving as we move through space,” explains Watts.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


“While you might think this could make producing an image more difficult, it actually yields more important data.”

Because each returning radar pulse contains information from a slightly different orientation, astronomers can get more angles than a stationary observation.

This means scientists can calculate the distance to a target and the speed of that target with greater accuracy.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Radar data like this has never been recorded before at this distance or resolution,” says Watts. 

“This has been done before at distances of a few hundred kilometers, but not on the hundreds of thousands of kilometers scales of this project, and not with the high resolutions of a meter or so at these distances.”

Even just 10 years ago, Watts says it would have taken months of computing to get an image from just one received radar signal. More than that would have taken over a year.

Astronomers hope the new technology will allow us to explore parts of the Solar System we’ve never before seen, all from the comfort of our own planet.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


Developed by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most amazing engineers ever born, it is an example of a bridge that you can build...


Now, possibly more than ever before, engineers and scientists happen to be taking inspiration from nature when developing technology. This is especially true for...


Playing through the greenery and litter of a mini forest’s undergrowth for just one month may be enough to change a child’s immune system,...


It had been only designed to fly five occasions. But NASA’s helicopter on Mars, Resourcefulness, has completed 12 flights also it is not prepared...


The Sun’s Rays is definitely showering Earth with a mist of magnetized particles referred to as solar wind. Typically, our planet’s magnetic shield blocks this electric wind from...


A police raid in South america has saved our scientific understanding of the incredibly well-preserved flying lizard that sported an unbelievably large mind crest....


Now, perhaps more than ever, engineers and scientists have been taking inspiration from nature when developing new technologies. This is also true for the...


Climatic change has already been affecting people’s health a lot that emergency action on global warming can’t be placed on hold as the world...


Elite athletes – like Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who won gold for that men’s 1,500 meter race in the Tokyo, japan 2020 Olympic games – train...