Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 February 13
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Yutu on a Little Planet
Image Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese National Space Administration,
Emily Lakdawalla (Planetary Society) - Stitched by: Andrew Bodrov

Explanation: Tracks lead to a small robot perched near the top of this bright little planet. Of course, the planet is really the Moon. The robot is the desk-sized Yutu rover, leaving its looming Chang'e 3 lander after a mid-December 2013 touch down in the northern Mare Imbrium. The little planet projection is a digitally warped and stitched mosaic of images from the lander's terrain camera covering 360 by 180 degrees. Ultimately traveling over 100 meters, Yutu came to a halt in January 2014. The lander's instruments are still working though, after more than two years on the lunar surface. Meanwhile, an interactive panoramic version of this little planet is available here.

Tomorrow's picture: hearty sky

< | Archive | Submissions | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.