USGS Releases First Complete Geologic Map of the Moon

The USGS (with help from NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute) has released the first complete geologic map of the Moon, providing a truly comprehensive look at our nearest cosmic neighbor. The 1:5,000,000 scale map is color-coded to help you quickly identify geological features, including multiple crater types, plains and other features.

The team created the map using a mix of Apollo-era maps and data from recent satellite missions, including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Japan’s SELENE.

Scientists redrew the historical maps to help them line up with the present-day sets while preserving valuable notes. They also established consistent descriptions of features to prevent the confusion that could happen with past maps.

The different, exotic colours found on the map represent different geological features found on the Lunar surface. A dominant colour found on the map is a shocking shade of pink. This represents craters formed by a series of asteroids crashing into the moon during the Early Imbrian epoch; about 3.5 billion earth years ago.

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