This is the most comprehensive map of the moon’s geology yet

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 11:50 in Astronomy & Space

In the most comprehensive lunar map yet, the moon looks like it’s been playing paintball. Each splash of color identifies a discrete rock or sediment formation, including craters, basins and ancient lava fields. For instance, “the darker, more earth tones are these highland-type terrains, and the reds and the purples tend to be more of these volcanic and lava flow materials,” says geologist James Skinner of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Ariz., who helped make the map, released April 20 by the USGS. (For more details on exactly what those colors mean, check out the map in all its glory here.) The Unified Geologic Map of the Moon, as it’s called, combines information from six regional lunar maps created during the Apollo era, as well as recent spacecraft observations. The modern data include views of the north and south lunar poles made by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and observations around the equator from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s SELENE lunar orbiter (SN: 7/10/19)....

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