Flying object resembling surfboard was detected in Moon’s orbit: What is it in fact?

April 11, 2024  12:16

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured an unusual object resembling a surfboard flying past the Moon. However, as NASA representatives clarify, it was neither a UFO nor an extraterrestrial megastructure.

The LRO recorded the flyby of the South Korean lunar orbiter Danuri, which was conducting a lunar orbit. Because both spacecraft were moving in nearly parallel orbits, this allowed the LRO team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to capture images of this interesting event that occurred between March 5 and 6.

The LRO camera has a very short exposure time—about 0.338 milliseconds—making it challenging to capture events. Nevertheless, it managed to capture an image of the "Danuri"—the first Korean spacecraft to enter lunar orbit in December 2022.

Due to the difference in the velocities between the two spacecraft, which was approximately 11,500 km/h, the image of the object in the final picture appears "blurred 10 times larger than its size". This effect makes the object resemble a surfboard.

In reality, the "Danuri" is a spacecraft of ordinary cubic shape with two solar panels on its sides. Paul Byrne, an associate professor of planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis, shared some images on his X page and noted that the "Danuri" is a regular orbital spacecraft, but due to its high speeds, its image is blurred when captured by the LRO camera.

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