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The Moon’s North Pole

Lunar orbiter delivers remarkable new photos

This photo, just released by NASA, is actually a composite of 983 individual photos taken at close range by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and carefully stitched together to give this amazing view.

Is it just an optical illusion that the pattern of craters gives an impression of spiral arms? Sort of. The reason is that orbiter collected the images from different angles over the course of a month.

One of the goals of the mission is to hunt for water ice that may help future human explorers establish a permanent base. Evidence of ice has already been discovered in craters at the moon’s south pole.