Scientists have released their latest, most detailed map of the varying geological areas of the moon.
A team from NASA, the Lunar Planetary Institute in Texas, and the Astrogeology Science Center in Arizona, run by the US Geological Survey (USGS) produced the images which could help future lunar missions when it comes to deciding where to land and where to go for further study.
“People have always been fascinated by the moon and when we might return,” said Jim Reilly, former NASA astronaut and the current director of USGS. “So, it’s wonderful to see USGS create a resource that can help NASA with their planning for future missions.”
The map was put together from Apollo-era maps and recent satellite imagery. This was stitched together to form the incredible image seen today.
The innovation doesn’t stop there, however. The scientists also standardised names for rocks and other geological entities. They also added more information such as details of the locations of craters, crests, fissures, ridges, faults, and all the other irregularities in the Moon’s surface
“It was a huge effort for our team to complete this new map and make it seamless,” said Justin Hagerty, Astrogeology Director at USGS. “Much of the historical mapping was performed by various groups and at regional scales.”
“Slightly different methods were used, so that maps of the same feature that had been mapped by different groups would not match.”
View the map itself online here.