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23 Apr, 2020 10:41

Moon’s geology revealed in greater detail than ever before in first all-inclusive map (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

For the first time in history, the entire lunar surface has been mapped and the geology classified, paving the way for safer future Moon landings and reminding us to look upwards once more.

Scientists from the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, in collaboration with NASA and the Lunar and Planetary Institute, have produced the ‘Unified Geologic Map of the Moon,’ at 1:5,000,000 scale, marking the culmination of decades of work.


“People have always been fascinated by the Moon and when we might return,” said current USGS director and former NASA astronaut Jim Reilly. “So, it’s wonderful to see USGS create a resource that can help NASA with their planning for future missions.”


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The seamless and therefore painstaking merger of old and new data allowed USGS researchers to produce a unified description of the rock layers on the Moon, with different colors marking distinct geological eras – for example, pink denotes the Imbrian era. This dominates the lunar surface, marking the time during which the Moon was bombarded by asteroids from outer space. 

NASA is currently preparing for new missions to the Moon. These will take place by 2024 and likely include the first female astronaut to walk on its surface.

Meanwhile, the Russian Space Research Institute is creating the first-ever topographic three-dimensional map of the Moon to help reconnoiter future Roscosmos lunar mission landing sites.

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