NASA's latest moon probe has sent images of the lunar surface back to Earth for the first time.
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft (called LADEE for short) beamed the new moon photos, which NASA released on Feb. 13, to ground controllers on Earth earlier this month.
The new images show stars and a pockmarked lunar landscape, Mashable reported. LADEE's star tracker cameras took the wide-angle photos. The small spacecraft uses these cameras to figure out its orientation in orbit, a very important job.
The accuracy of the probe's moon dust researching instruments relies upon knowing where it is located in space, NASA officials said. The five images were taken at one-minute intervals on Feb. 8 and capture slightly different parts of the northern western hemisphere of the moon.
The star tracker cameras took the images during lunar day with Earthshine lighting up the moon's surface, NASA officials said. LADEE was launched into space last September to investigate the moon's thin atmosphere and mysterious lunar dust.