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The Caves of Copernicus

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:16 pm

>By the way, links will work automatically if you post them on a line by itself.

I am on probation in the forum for five days since joining, so can't post links. Thats okay, I am patient.

>So you used the P-Tiffs, and they're actually jpeg compression of some sort. It must be a different type of jpeg, because renaming it a jpg doesn't make it openable with progs that can handle an image that size.

Yes, it is an old fashioned/outmoded method of compression. Thats what caused me problems in using them directly. But image processing programs seem to know how to convert them.

>Hmmm... I think you need to tell your IT guy that you need 20TB of drive space, then you can convert to BMP and run your app against them uncompressed.

Ha! That would be nice! Although I prefer uncompressed TIF.

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Unknown Object: Update

Post  Copernicus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:29 pm

Ah, good morning all! It’s the first weekend after the latest LROC NAC upload! With one notable exception, I still haven’t managed to look at any of the areas I’m monitoring except for Copernicus Crater.

There are new NAC’s in Copernicus, which is great, but unfortunately there are none of any of my previously posted ‘Cave Candidates’... nor was there a NAC of my new Cave Candidate that I will post this weekend.

As for James’ “H” series, there was a new NAC of H1 (which I haven’t had a chance to look at yet), and a new NAC of H4.

The good news is… there is a new NAC of my ‘unknown object’! (Same NAC as H4).

This is the highest res yet, and it looks… well, different, here.



I’m not sure what to make of this new image… I don’t get the ‘skylight’ impression this time. If you zoom this image in at 2x (making it 800%!!), then I do see a possible pit appearance along the northeast rim.

Next up… a new (large) cave candidate! sunny

C
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:28 am

I agree, looking at the unknown object doesn't seem like a skylight...more like a dakr boulder or something.

I missed the new H1, but yes, I did see the new H4. It has slightly different Sun angle and seems sharper.

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Cave Candidate “E”

Post  Copernicus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:09 pm

Today, I’d like to share a new find that I made just over a week ago: Cave Candidate “E”.

This one took me by surprise, since it is so large! I estimate the opening to be about 50 meters wide (165 feet)!

Here’s a pair of locator images:





Candidate E is big enough to be visible in the high res LO images, and is in 3 low res NAC’s and 2 high res NAC’s. I was hoping a new NAC at a different angle would be posted in this week’s dump, but I was out of luck there.

Here it is from Lunar Orbiter 5, high res:



The following images are from the 2 high res NAC’s. Although these 2 NAC’s are almost identical, there are some noticeable differences along the edge of the north-south overhang of the entrance.





And now the same images at 200%.





You can see that the sun is shining from the right straight into what appears to be a nice, big tunnel entrance!! sunny

We could drive our yellow VW bug straight in, and who knows where we’d end up!!!

C

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:26 pm

Yes, "E" was interesting when I found it going through the Copernicus floor originally. The rectangular block intrigued me. But I somehow convinced myself it wasn't a cave. I will have to check my records. I think there was one other image that swayed me. Note that not all the latitude and longitude coordinates in the NAC images are correct. This has been a nuisance when trying to match images, find U.S. spacecraft landers/crash spots.

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Copernicus on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:41 pm

I believe I read that the overall latitude and longitude grid has been adjusted. You can also see that the positioning of the NAC's on the main moon WAC has shifted very slightly.

I'd be quite interested in seeing the image of "E" that you mentioned, LCG. I don't believe that I missed a NAC, but I may have... and I've looked at all of the ones of "E" that are available.

C
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new cave

Post  1967sander on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:31 am

Hi guys!

I am no caveman but perhaps these images show a new one?



Greetz,

Sander
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Superb!

Post  rick1959 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:38 pm

TOP NOTCH, once again, Thank You!
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Copernicus on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:27 pm

Ahhh, Sander, you've analyzed my "unknown object" which is anything from a cave skylight to a boulder to a ????

Thank you for that look Very Happy

Umm... since you've talked about your capability for 3-D modeling, would you be interested in taking a crack at the Castle that moved? That you discovered in a different location in the Hyginus area? (Sort of a continuation of a previous series of posts on a different board...) Idea

C
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Pit H1: New Image

Post  Copernicus on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:39 pm

Here’s the latest image of James’ Pit H1 just uploaded a few days ago…



This is the highest res of it yet.

C
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:41 pm

Copernicus wrote:I'd be quite interested in seeing the image of "E" that you mentioned, LCG. I don't believe that I missed a NAC, but I may have... and I've looked at all of the ones of "E" that are available.

Here are the images I found of this feature.
http://lroimages2.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/cavee-copy1.jpg



The top two got me interested in its lunar sky light characteristic of a curved lit portion at a lower level. The third image added to the cavelike jump aspect to a lower level. But the last two images show a continuous surface for both of these, meaning the feature is likely only a crater or collapse sinktype feature filled with dust of various grades.

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:42 pm

Copernicus wrote:Here’s the latest image of James’ Pit H1 just uploaded a few days ago…



This is the highest res of it yet.

C

Thanks! I missed that! Pretty creepy looking!

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Perhaps.....

Post  rick1959 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:50 pm

Creepy how?
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:01 pm

rick1959 wrote:Creepy how?

Sometimes blocks on the Moon look creepy and spooky. Most of the time we see alot of craters on the Moon, but boulders are more special. Also, a smooth inside tghis feature would have been uncreepy. But large rocks lying in there gives me a sense of being there. It is very weird how this feature formed. On Earth, it would be weird too if a sink hole suddenly opened up underneath a house.

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:06 pm

Looks a lot creepier while on pain meds (dental work)...Trust me on that. geek
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Thank you!

Post  rick1959 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:10 pm

I very much appreciate the explanation!

Which brings me to the question of what type of formation might this suggest? Some sort of crystalline............er, maybe as you say a sinkhole from a crumbling fault underground?

Better stop here before I show the extent of my ignorance!!!

Have a great night! :-)
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Copernicus on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:13 pm

Hi James/LCG,

Okay, with regards to "E", you actually hadn't seen additional images, but were convinced by the structure of the feature in the 2 high res images.

The top two got me interested in its lunar sky light characteristic of a curved lit portion at a lower level. The third image added to the cavelike jump aspect to a lower level. But the last two images show a continuous surface for both of these, meaning the feature is likely only a crater or collapse sinktype feature filled with dust of various grades.

If we could get an image with the light from the east, but taken from a bit farther east rather than directly overhead would be helpful. I admit the "tunnel" aspect of this feature could end a few feet past where we can see in these images.

C
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  lunarcaveguy on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:30 pm

Copernicus,
Yes, I got it backwards. Memory was fuzzed. Anyway, at least I got it right about the other images. Not sure how it can be a cave, but it is near those "collapsed sinks" so it is possible.


Rick,
I think the lunar scientists like to attribute these features to lava tubes. Some of these Copernicus crater features do not seem associated with such tubes. I found the funny collapsed sink features that I think once had lava in them and then drained out. The lunar scientists can't tell me yes or no.

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:14 pm

*gets the granny glasses out* Now, here's what I think I see...You can tap me on the head if I'm not getting the main point here...I don't know about everyone else, but in the image above M1577 - the last one in the 'E' series - I see a well defined square shape. Smooth edges, looks like a piece from the game Risk was placed on it. That looks more like a bunker than a cave...Is that a product of zooming in, or is that the real deal? scratch
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Copernicus on Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:38 pm

Maybe this will help a bit, Jackie...

Here's H1 at 3x the original size:



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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Copernicus on Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:25 am

@Jackie

You were wondering whether the squares were caused by the imaging process, and the quick answer is that they’re real, and not an image artifact of some sort.

The general shape of anything you see in the LROC images should be correct, but the exact shape is difficult to determine. If you try to stack images of the same location from 2 different pairs, you will run into problems. Unless the resolution is exactly the same in both pairs of images, the features will be of different size.

If the resolution is the same, then there’s the complication that the sun may be shining from the east in one pair, and from the west in the 2nd pair, giving odd lighting.

The main thing you will notice is: a crater is perfectly round in this image pair, and oblong or oval in the 2nd pair. Which shape is correct? The exact shapes never seem to match up between more than one pair of images. You may guess that the round crater is the correct shape, and not the elliptical one, but you don’t really know which one is correct.

Here is an old quote from NASA about image resolution, posted during the Commissioning phase, when the image resolution was less than 1 meter per pixel:

Pixel scale (m/pixel) is a convenient way to describe a camera's ability to capture feature details on the lunar surface, although strictly speaking it takes 2-4 pixels to resolve an object. Perhaps the simplest value to start with when describing image resolution is the pixel scale defined as the size of a pixel projected onto the ground. In the case of the LROC Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) the angular scale of a single pixel is only 0.000572958°, which from an altitude of 100 km provides a ground scale of 1.0 meter per pixel. However, the true resolution is always poorer than the ground scale.

First, the optics and the CCD introduce scatter to some of the incoming light, which works to slightly blur the image. Next, in the case of the NACs, the pixels move across the ground as the exposure is made introducing along-orbit smear. Finally, the image quality is affected by the illumination of the scene. When the Sun is near noon and the ground is brightly illuminated, the signal received by the camera is strong. When near sunset or sunrise, the scene is poorly illuminated and signals are weak. A handheld camera can usually compensate for low light levels with a flash – if not, you will see a grainier image.

For the five Apollo landing sites imaged by LROC, the biggest variables are spacecraft altitude (ground scale) and time of day, which translates into signal strength. In the current collection of images the best feature discrimination is in the Apollo 14 scene (astronaut tracks and ALSEP) even though the highest resolution picture covers the Apollo 16 site. This counter-intuitive result clearly shows that increased illumination (high signal) is a very significant factor in the true resolution of a picture. Next month LRO will pass over all the landing sites at the same altitudes but with the Sun 15° higher above the horizon. By September LRO will be placed in a lower mapping orbit and higher resolution images will be possible.

The LROC NAC image data presented here has not been calibrated, the faint vertical stripes are a normal part of the image, and will be removed later after the full suite of calibration data is collected during the commissioning phase.

LRO’s current elliptical orbit (40 x 199 km), with the low portion of the orbit (perilune) over the south pole, resulted in image scales near the equator ranging from 1.0 meter per pixel (Apollo 16) to 1.4 meter per pixel (Apollo 17).

(3.3 feet and 4.4 feet respectively)

You will note that they still haven’t removed the vertical stripes from the images.

C

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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:24 pm

That clears things up, and I didn't get a bonk on the head for it.

Thank you for explaining the details, Copernicus. Excellent information!
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Update on Pit H5 and Candidate "D"

Post  Copernicus on Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:50 pm

I’ve been doing some more digging into the NAC’s of Copernicus Crater, and found a few more NAC’s of Pit H5 and my Cave Candidate “D”. I missed these the first time around since they are all “stacked” on top of each other when looking at the WAC that shows the NAC’s as brown rectangles.

There were 3 more NAC’s of H5 (2 were in a NAC pair), and 2 of Candidate “D”, so today I’ll present 1 more image of H5 and 2 more images of “D”.

First, here’s another view of James’ Pit H5:



And second, here’s Candidate “D”. As a refresher, I’ll post the following 2 images that show that “D” seems to be at the junction of 2 channels… one that extends Northwest to H5, and the other channel that goes off to the Northeast (under a hill!)





Note that I split this view into 2 images for clarity, since the board seems to cut off anything over about 600 wide.

Next are 2 more images of Candidate “D”:





The second image seems to show the furthest into the cave entrance that we’ve seen, though the lighting isn’t very sharp.

Here are these 2 images at 300%:





That's it for now, but I am still searching for more caves (and anomalies) and if I find anything more, I will post them.

C
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:23 am

That was a great job, C. Can you tell me, the ridge it is on/against - Is that ridge the tube or cavern that this cave could be part of??

I'm going to check them out again. rabbit
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Re: The Caves of Copernicus

Post  Copernicus on Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:40 pm

Hi Jackie,

Maybe the following will show this a bit better:



The visible open channels are in pink and blue. I’m suggesting that they may be connected at “D” by a non-visible underground channel illustrated in green.

I originally thought that the blue/green channel crossed the pink channel, but now I think it’s a continuation of the pink channel.

C
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