These amazing pictures capture the moon’s cratered surface in the most intricate detail ever recorded. The images, which were taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter (LRO), have boosted the resolution of images of the far side of the moon over 100 times.
Digital elevation and terrain maps based on the new data reveal the heavily cratered and bumpy surface of the moon in all its complexity.
Dr Gregory Neumann of NASA’S Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said that digital elevation and terrain maps based on the new data ‘will be a fundamental reference for future scientificand human exploration missions to the moon.’
Heavily cratered: A topographic map of the moon’s northern hemisphere. The false colours indicate elevation: red areas are highest and blue lowest
The brilliant, iridescent green concepts, pictured here, show the topography of different hemispheres of the moon.
‘We expect to continue to make measurements at this rate through the next two years of the science phase of the mission and beyond. Near the poles, we expect to provide near-GPS-like navigational capability as coverage is denser due to the spacecraft’s polar orbit.’
Now contrast that with the irregular contours of the earth:
Not very regular...
Again, very irregular. Topographical satellite mapping from science.co.il
I don't know. But it's hard to see how the moon broke off from the earth and it remained a perfect sphere with hundreds of huge raindrop type pock marks, while the earth is this convoluted, seemingly traumatized molten rock in comparison - and with hardly any visible craters.