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High-res images fill in details about lunar topography

Cross-posted from Scientific American’s Image Gallery on behalf of Sarah Fecht.


A Moon-orbiting spacecraft has compiled a nearly complete map of the lunar surface at its highest resolution to date.

The Moon is our closest celestial neighbour, but our knowledge of its topography is still fuzzy. That’s changing quickly, thanks to the camera on board NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which is being used to locate potential landing sites and lunar resources. LRO has dramatically sharpened our view of the Moon’s surface since it was launched in 2009.

The newest maps achieve a resolution of 100 metres — each pixel represents roughly the area of two football fields placed side by side. The color-coded image above uses red and white to represent the highest elevations, and blue and purple to represent the lowest. (To click and zoom in on specific areas, check out this map.)

Read the rest of this post over at Scientific American.

Image: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/DLR/ASU


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