Scientists have created a new, high-resolution map of the moon using data from China’s recent missions to the moon.
The detailed map was created using data primarily from Chinese lunar exploration program Collected over the past 15 years, it has been supplemented by high-quality data from international exploration missions from the United States, Japan, and India.
It reveals the geological layers, structural features and chronology of the moonIts surface, and includes 12,341 archaeological craters, 81 impingement basins, 17 types of rocks and 14 types of structures.
Related: Stunning moon images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
The map reflects “the evolution of the lunar crust under igneous processes, catastrophic impacts, and volcanic activities,” the research team wrote in a paper accepted for publication in the journal. Science Bulletin (Opens in a new tab).
The map uses the Mollweide projection which creates an elliptical view of the Moon; China also provided stereoscopic projections, centered separately on the north and south poles. Researchers can use the new work to map lunar geology and choose a landing site for future missions.
The full-size map is available from the Chinese Academy of Sciences National Space Science Center (Opens in a new tab).
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