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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
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Mystery manToday’s Spotlight features an animate gif by Christine Daniloff/MIT and uses a topographic image of the moon by NASA/Colorado School of Mines/MIT/Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio.

New data obtained by NASA’s GRAIL mission reveals that the Procellarum region on the near side of the moon a giant basin often referred to as the “man in the moon” likely arose not from a massive asteroid strike, but from a large plume of magma deep within the moon’s interior.

Researchers from MIT, the Colorado School of Mines, and other institutions have created a high-resolution map of the Procellarum, and found that its border is not circular, but polygonal, composed of sharp angles that could not have been created by a massive asteroid.

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight or Event Headline, here.
Maps in a snap

Maps in a snap

Today’s Spotlight uses a 3‑D still of a section of the State Center generated using the mapping technology. Image: NUIM/MIT

Computer scientists at MIT and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, have developed a mapping algorithm that creates dense, highly detailed 3‑D maps of indoor and outdoor environments in real time.

The researchers tested their algorithm on videos taken with a low‑cost Kinect camera, including one that explores the serpentine halls and stairways of MIT’s Stata Center. Applying their mapping technique to these videos, the researchers created rich, three‑dimensional maps as the camera explored its surroundings.

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