USGS (US Geological Survey) has released a new moon map that will help explain many of the features of our closest neighbor in space.
For the first time, the entire lunar surface was completely mapped and classified by scientists from the USGS in collaboration with NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute.
The lunar map, called the “Unified geological map of the moon”, will serve for future human missions to the moon and will be invaluable to the international scientific community, teachers and the general public. A digital map will also be available online to study the geology of the moon in incredible detail (scale 1: 5,000,000).
“This map is the result of a multi-year project,” said Corey Fortezzo, USGS geologist and lead author. “It provides vital information for new research.”
Altitude data for the equatorial region of the moon were obtained from stereoscopic observations collected by the Terrain camera during a recent SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) mission led by Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA. The topography of the North and South Poles was supplemented with data from a laser altimeter of NASA’s Lunar Orbiting Vehicle.