US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Specialists from the US Geological Survey Astrological Research Center (USGS), together with NASA engineers, created the “Unified Geological Map of the Moon” – the first detailed plan of the Earth’s satellite surface. It is available online and shows the geological structure of the moon with incredible detail so far – on a scale of 1 to 5,000,000.
According to the creators of the map, their work is extremely important in the light of plans to colonize the moon in the near future. “People have always been fascinated by the Moon and the thought that we could [go back to it],” says NASA ex-astronaut and current director of geology Jim Reilly. “It’s wonderful to see the USGS create a resource that can help NASA plan future [lunar] missions.”
To create the map, several images of the moon from the time of the Apollo program, from 1961 to 1975, were used. Most of these photos were taken by NASA Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Additionally, updated information from satellite telescopes was also taken into account. Thus, new data on the equatorial regions of the moon were obtained using the Japanese Kaguya apparatus, launched in 2007.
Also, experts developed a universal stratigraphic description of the moon, determining the structure and age of its rocks. Thus, it was possible to resolve the contradictions that arose when using earlier maps, in which the age, characteristics and names of the breeds often varied greatly.
“This map has become the pinnacle of a multi-year project,” says its lead author, Corey Fortezzo. “It provides vital data for scientific research of the future, linking the study of specific locations on the moon with the rest of the surface.”
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