The new telescope system at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia (United States) has managed to capture the highest resolution photograph of the Moon taken from Earth.
The image was recorded using radar technology and has been possible thanks to work that has taken several years, according to those in charge of the project.
The photograph is 1.4 billion pixels in size and shows a 200 × 175 km area of the southern plains of Earth’s natural satellite.
In the image you can see the Tycho crater, considered one of the most luminous on the Moon. It is also one of the most studied by the different probes that have been sent into space. It has a diameter of 85 km and a depth of 4,400 meters at its lowest point.
For its part, the Green Bank is the largest steerable radio telescope in the world, with a collection area of 100 meters in diameter.
“This is the largest synthetic aperture radar image we’ve ever produced,” explains Tony Beasley, director of the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).
“Although more work needs to be done to improve the quality of these images, we are delighted to be able to show this to the general public. In the future we will be able to show many more ”.
According to scientists, the possibility of taking high-resolution photographs from Earth would allow investigating which places on the Moon would be optimal for a future space mission to land.
With this technique, more distant moons and planets could also be investigated with a level of detail never seen before.