First Ever Unified Geological Map of the Moon Released

The NASA along with its partners recently released the first ever Unified Geological Map of the Moon, virtually on April 22nd.

About the Project

The Unified Geological Map of the Moon was released virtually by NASA, United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Lunar Planetary Institute. The map is to serve as a blueprint for future lunar missions and will also aid in research and education. Apart from modern satellite data, data from as far back as the NASA’s Apollo Mission were used for the map’s creation.

Features

  • It has a scale of 1:5,000,000. This means that each mm on the map represents 5km on the moon.
  • Each type of lunar rock has been differently color coded.
  • Colors have been used to give information about the rocks’ origin period. Eg: yellow represents the current period (Copernican period).
  • It has included elevation data (from the Japanese Selene Mission) and topography data (from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter).

Lunar Surface

The lunar surface is more well-preserved than the earth’s surface because of its sparse atmosphere having low weathering impact. Hence studying the surface provides information about the lunar history. The lunar surface has features like mares (oceans made of hardened lava), craters (formed by asteroid impacts), highlands, volcanic plains, etc.

 

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