Up close and personal with the Moon

Credit NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this image is one of the highest resolution pictures ever taken of the near-side of the Moon.

Coming in at a monster 24,000 x 24,000 pixels (no, that’s not a typo), 1,300 images were combined to produce this awesome mosaic. You can click here to explore the fully zoomable image.

Taken over a period of two weeks in December 2010, the LRO is currently in a polar orbit of the Moon, moving in a north to south direction rather than east to west. To create the image, the correct angle of sunlight had to be obtained for each of the 1,300 images so that it didn’t look unnatural.