Scientists Created the Best Topographic Map of the Moon Using Observations NASA LRO

With the help of observations made by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft scientists have stitched together the highest-resolution topographic map of the moon ever created. The new lunar map covers 98.2 percent of the moon and depicts the natural satellite’s surface and features at a pixel scale of about 330 feet (100 meters). A global view of Earth’s nearest neighbor at such high resolution had never existed before. According to Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), they can now determine slopes of all major geologic terrains on the moon at 100-meter scale, determine how the crust has deformed, better understand impact crater mechanics,

investigate the nature of volcanic features and better plan future robotic and human missions to the moon. The new map was created using thousands of pictures acquired by the Wide Angle Camera, part of the LROC imaging system. The new moon map doesn’t cover 100 percent of the moon because persistent shadows prevent the camera from snapping good photos near the north and south poles. However, another instrument aboard LRO, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, can map out polar terrain.