NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will celebrate five years in orbit June 18. To celebrate the anniversary and LRO's many scientific contributions, NASA invites the public to select a favorite orbiter image of the moon for the cover a special image collection.
"'The Moon as Art' collection gives the public the opportunity to see the moon as others have seen it for centuries – as an inspirational muse – but this time from the perspective of being in orbit with a series of 'eyes' that see in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum," said Brooke Hsu, science education specialist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute/Universities Space Research Assoc. in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The public can vote on the final cover image from five possible candidates selected because of their beauty and/or scientific value by orbiter mission team members. The winning cover image will be announced June 18 with the release of the full Moon as Art collection of 24 images.
Voting begins Friday and will close June 6. The public can vote here.
The finalist images are titled:
- Starry Night
- Linne Crater
- Clerke Crater
- Diviner North Pole
- Tycho Central Peak
LRO launched from Florida on June 18, 2009. After a four-day journey, the orbiter successfully entered lunar orbit June 23. In the five years since, LRO has brought the world astounding views of the lunar surface and a plethora of exciting science data.
"LRO has been a remarkable mission with discoveries that have given us insight into solar system history and the inner workings of the moon," said John Keller, LRO project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "After five years, LRO continues to make ground breaking discoveries."