Artist Converts Lunar Photos into 4-Hour Real-Time Orbit Around the Moon

Astronomical filmmaker Seán Doran has processed the multitude of images captured by the Japanese Kaguya (Selene) lunar orbiter into a stunning four-hour real-time journey in orbit around the moon.

In September of 2007, Japan launched its Kaguya (Selene) lunar orbiter that was equipped with two high-definition TV cameras which it used to capture photos and videos of the moon. That mission ended in 2009, but in 2016 the Japanese space agency released a sizeable haul of all of the digital images the orbiter captured during its nearly two-year journey.

Many of the images featured the surface of the moon, but also views of Earth over the horizon. Below are a few sample photos that give you an idea of what the images look like directly from the Japanese space agency’s database:

As you can see, they are pretty noisy and low quality by today’s standards. In a project with some rather incredible scope, Doran took these images and denoised, repaired, graded, and timed them together to create a four-hour-long real-time journey around the circumference of the moon.

While not perfectly cut the entire way through (as the perspective changes on occasion), it is a stunning finished product that makes use of the huge number of photos that exist in the Kaguya archive.

Doran has also uploaded a shorter, 30-minute cut which explores various regions on the moon and a low-orbit focused 11-minute video using the same archived database of images:

For more from Doran, you can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his YouTube Channel.

(via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Photos are copyright JAXA/NHK and used under the scope and conditions of distribution.

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