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The “surfboard” flying in front of the moon in NASA footage is actually an artificial object

The “surfboard” flying in front of the moon in NASA footage is actually an artificial object

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft captured an image of a surfboard-like object orbiting the moon. What this being is is finally revealed.

An unusual surfboard-shaped object flew in front of the Moon and was captured by NASA's Lunar Orbiter (LRO). The object is not of natural origin, but it is also not an extraterrestrial spacecraft or some kind of alien civilization's construction – instead, the object is another probe, the South Korean Danori. As in other papers Live Science also reportsThis confirmation came directly from NASA officials.

While LRO and Danuri orbited the Moon in almost perfectly parallel orbits, a team from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland rose to the occasion and photographed the rare encounter on March 5 and 6. This all sounds simple, but it was much more complicated than two bus drivers head-butting each other: for example, the LRO camera's short exposure time of around 0.338 ms was a challenge. The large difference in relative speed between the two space probes, about 11,500 km/h, strongly distorted the image of Danori – which is why the probe expanded and appeared about ten times larger than it actually is. So the surfboard-like appearance is actually an optical illusion – the Danori doesn't actually look like a surfboard, but rather a brick-shaped spaceship with solar panels on either side.

Danori, also known as the Korean Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), is South Korea's first lunar probe developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The purpose of the mission is to collect additional scientific data about the Moon, including its surface, environment and some resources, and to develop deep space technologies. Danori was launched in August 2022 and successfully entered lunar orbit in December 2022.

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As part of the mission, Danori will carry several different scientific instruments, including a high-resolution camera to study the lunar surface in detail, a polarimeter to study the lunar surface, and a magnetic instrument to map the lunar magnetic field. One of the mission's goals is to examine the Moon's south pole, where they can identify signs of ice, which may be important for future lunar bases.

Live Science adds that the image sparked a lot of fun among Internet users, as many people linked it to the surfboard of the comic book character Silver Traveler.

(Image: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University)

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