NASA has shared several new bright images of the potential landing sites at the Moon's south pole, which reveal shadowed areas of our satellite in never-before-seen details.
The images were taken by a highly sensitive optical ShadowCam camera carried around the Moon by the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), which launched in August 2022 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
This camera can take high-resolution images of areas of the Moon that do not receive direct sunlight. And for the first time, it was able to image the Shackleton crater in all its glory and in greater detail than ever achieved before.
Other objects in the new images include craters Bruce, Marvin, and Aristarchus. NASA noted that even with ShadowCam's impressive imaging capabilities, the instrument still needs help to examine some deeply shadowed areas of the Moon. One of the sources it can use is Earthshine – light reflected from Earth onto the Moon.