This animation illustrates the dramatic improvement in our knowledge of the Moon's terrain made possible by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. A LOLA digital elevation map compiled in late 2009 is compared to the Unified Lunar Control Network (ULCN) 2005, a painstakingly constructed map based on the best available data at the time, including imagery from the Clementine, Apollo, Mariner 10, and Galileo missions as well as Earth-based observations.
The height of the terrain is color-coded, with blues and greens representing low altitudes and reds representing high altitudes. The LOLA data used to create this media is available to the public in the LOLA archive of the PDS Geosciences node.
Unified Lunar Control Network 2005 also referred to as: ULCN 2005
Data Compilation - USGS - 1970 to 2005
The ULCN 2005 (Unified Lunar Control Network 2005) is a lunar control point network that precisely measured 272,931 pieces of data produced by the USGS using existing lunar imagery or data from the Clementine and other observations.