NASA shares images of mysterious „surfboard” orbiting the Moon

Tanuri is South Korea's first spacecraft on the moon

NASA has released images of a mysterious silver surfboard-shaped object orbiting the moon. The images were taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). They depict a thin horizontal line of an object resembling Marvel's board 'Silver Surfer' character. However, the mysterious object is not the same as in the comic book world or superhero movies or the Unidentified Flying Object (UFO). NASA's LRO actually caught up with its South Korean counterpart as the two orbiters passed each other, the space agency said.

According to NASA Press releaseLRO captured several images of Danuri's lunar orbit sent by its Korean counterpart, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, as the two passed each other in parallel but opposite directions between March 5 and 6. The space agency explained that the image of Danuri, which will be orbiting the moon since 2022, appears to have been distorted due to the extremely fast relative velocity between it and LRO.

„Although LRO's camera exposure time is very short, only 0.338 milliseconds, the high travel speed between the two spacecraft makes Tanuri appear 10 times its size in the opposite direction of travel,” NASA wrote.

Danuri is South Korea's first spacecraft on the moon and has been in lunar orbit since December 2022.

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The LRO operations team at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement that the LROC needed „excellent timing” to point LROC in the right spot in time to see Tanuri. However, the task is not easy due to the fast relative speed between the two spacecraft, which is about 11,500 kilometers per hour.

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NASA said LRO's narrow-angle camera captured the images during three orbits, which will be close to Tanuri.

Notably, LRO was launched in 2009. Since then, it has collected important data through its seven powerful tools. It turned out to be an invaluable contribution to the study of the Moon.

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