That little smeary line in the center isn't a camera defect, it's the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), as photographed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which is orbiting the Moon about 5.5 miles above LADEE's orbit. This was a pretty difficult shot to take, given the fact that both spacecraft are moving at speeds of 3600 mph and their perpendicular orbits only briefly intersect. The LRO camera team has a detailed explanation of how they made this shot work:
Since LROC is a pushbroom imager, it builds up an image one line at a time, thus catching a target as small and fast as LADEE is tricky! ... LADEE passed directly beneath the LRO orbit plane a few seconds before LRO crossed the LADEE orbit plane, meaning a straight down LROC image would have just missed LADEE. Now is where the careful planning came into play. The LADEE and LRO teams worked out the solution: simply have LRO roll 34° to the west so the LROC detector (one line) would be in the right place as LADEE passed beneath.
James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn’t bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a “an interpreter of interpretations.”
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