What Is This?

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"It's so dark here. So cold. I'm about to die. So long, my friends."

Sometimes, it must be really sad to be a space probe, dying alone in the cold, dark nowhere. On the other side, I wish my last view was the Moon.

Yesterday's video of Selene's final approach to the moon was actually a 3D reconstruction, using previous mission photos of the surface, real time flight data points, and the three-dimensional map that the probe has been capturing during its mission,


This was made because the probe couldn't relay HD video in real time, but it sent high resolution photographs. Above, the final image just before crashing into the dark side of the moon, almost pitch black. Below, the complete series just before impact. Click on the thumbs for the 1024-pixel versions.

[JAXA Photo Archives]