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The Moon! In 3D!

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals 3D snaps of the Moon's surface

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is currently whizzing about the Moon, snapping pictures of the surface – and thanks to a clever bit of technical trickery, it’s able to take 3D anaglyphs of the Moon.

Although it only has the one camera, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is able to capture the 3D images by taking two separate pictures on subsequent orbits of the Moon. The idea is to use the 3D images to pick out lunar features like craters and volcanic flows in more detail.

NASA’s released the images as red-green anaglyphs – which is a bit low-tech considering they’re the space agency. Hopefully we’ll be getting versions of the images that’ll work with active and passive 3D displays at some point, so we can pretend that we’re astronauts.

The images are being uploaded to the LRO website – and if they’ve whetted your appetite for our nearest celestial body, check out our 25 best Moon movies for some more lunar exploration.

[via 3D Focus]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

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Computing, mobile, audio, smart home