TECH

Moon's Surface Photographed By Nasa Ladee Probe

18/02/2014 11:40 GMT | Updated 18/02/2014 11:59 GMT

Nasa's LADEE probe has beamed some pretty astounding images of it's view of the Moon.

LADEE stands for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer and the craft is in a lunar orbit to try and solve a mystery stemming from the Apollo missions of last century.

Astronauts on the Moon noticed a weird glow on the horizon just before sunrise that no one could fully explain.

One theory is that it is caused by electrically charged dust in the moon's thin atmosphere. LADEE will determine if this is the case.

It will do this using its onboard "star-tracker" cameras.

The main job of a star tracker is to snap images of the surrounding star field so that the spacecraft can internally calculate its orientation in space. It completes this task many times per minute.

The accuracy of each of LADEE's instruments' measurements depends on the star tracker calculating the precise orientation of the spacecraft.

"Star tracker cameras are actually not very good at taking ordinary images," said Butler Hine LADEE project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "But they can sometimes provide exciting glimpses of the lunar terrain."

The probe was launched last September - an event noted mainly for the frog that managed to photobomb the rocket.