Videos So Close to the Moon You Can Almost Touch It

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Selene— Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's spacecraft mapping and filming the moon in High Definition for the first time—keeps returning crystal-clear videos of the Moon surface. And the video will keep getting closer and closer, until it crashes.

The video next to these lines shows Antoniadi from approximately 13 miles (21 km). The large impact crater—located on the southern hemisphere, on the far side of the Moon—has an irregular edge, and it's one of the few craters in our satellite that has a second inner ring. Antoniadi's lowest point—measured by Selene's laser altimeter-is 5.5 miles deep.


The video below was taken from the perilune, the closest point to the Moon in Selene's trajectory: Just 6.8 miles high.


According to JAXA, the impact will take place on 18:30, June 10, 2009 (GMT) at E80 S63, on the near side of the moon, close to its south pole.

Until then, Kaguya—as it's called in Japanese—will keep recording high definition video at low altitude and doing whatever cool Moon probes do when they are not being watched, probably sing Sinatra songs. [JAXA YouTube Channel and JAXA]