Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Most Accurate Map of the Moon Released

NASA has unveiled the most accurate, highest resolution map of the Moon's elevation.  The scale of the photo is one pixel equals 328 feet (100 meters).  The data was gathered over 66,000 images and readings from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The full map can be downloaded from
Arizona State University's press release.

This map is a long time coming.  The only truly accurate readings of lunar elevation have come from satellite readings but these were never complied together to make a complete map.  In the past there have been a couple atlases claiming to have elevations marked, like the 1969 Times Atlas of the Moon, but these were guesstimates and in many cases out right lies created in part to deceive the Soviets.  Until recently, some of the most accurate lunar elevation measurements were done by an amateur astronomer using his own telescope and CCD camera.

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