NASA is spoiling us with this brilliant visualization of the movement of shadows around the lunar south pole over the course of two lunar, which is about the same as two Earth’s months. The video was possible thanks to the observations conducted by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been studying the Moon for over 11 years.
“The flowing dance of sunlight and shadow on the surface reveals areas that exist in permanent darkness, nearly persistent sunshine, and others where the balance of light and dark fluctuates through time,” the voice-over on the video states as the cratered surface is rhythmically bathed in sunlight and then plunged into darkness.
The data from LRO do not just lead to these beautiful displays of Lunar changes, they have been key to many discoveries about the Moon, such as the abundance of water across our satellite.
But the Lunar South Pole is particularly intriguing as a possible future location of human scientific bases. So by studying the changes in the amount of sunlight received by a certain area, planetary scientists can estimate the temperature at the surface and underneath, as well as what volatiles (including water) could be found in the region.
Check the pretty (and pretty useful) video below: