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The Peak Of Eternal Light, Possible Lunar Base Site Where The Sun Never Sets

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The first public showing of ‘The Peak of Eternal Light’, a new movie created using images taken by ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter, took place on July 2009 at the Ars Electronica Center (AEC), Linz, Austria. This movie was shown as part of a special event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, during this International Year of Astronomy.

During the journey to ‘The Peak of Eternal Light’, the audience joins Commander Björn Grieger and his flight crew onboard a virtual lunar shuttle called ‘Sparrow’ for a thrilling flight over the lunar surface. This virtual guided tour across a 3D lunar surface explores Shackleton Crater en-route to the famous Peak of Eternal Light, a location 17 km from the Moon’s South Pole that is illuminated almost constantly by the Sun, making it a possible site for a future lunar outpost. 

 
The Peak of Eternal Light
Credit: ESa

A method known as shape-from-shading was used to produce the 3D lunar surface featured in the movie. The method was used in a novel way, applying it simultaneously to five images taken in diverse lighting conditions by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA’s SMART-1 spacecraft. This model was originally developed for research purposes before being converted into a movie for AEC, Austria.

Credit: ESA
 

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