LOLA: Lunar Topography in Natural Color
This animation is a brief tour of several prominent features of the Moon's terrain: Tycho crater, the south pole, and the South Pole-Aitken basin. It is match-moved to a companion piece showing the terrain elevations in false color.
This is an update of animation 3594, which was produced before the launch of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Except for the Tycho crater inset, the elevation map in this updated version is based entirely on early results of the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter onboard LRO.
The surface appearance is derived from photographs taken by the Clementine spacecraft. Although it shows the visible surface in natural color, this animation does not depict realistic sunlight and shadows. This is especially significant near the poles, where certain parts of the terrain can be in permanent shadow and would never be fully visible in the manner depicted here.
The South Pole-Aitken basin, roughly 2100 kilometers (1300 miles) wide and 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep, is one of the largest impact features in the solar system. It lies on the far side of the Moon, the hemisphere never visible from Earth, and was found only after spacecraft began visiting the Moon in the 1960s.
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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
Datasets used in this visualization
LRO DEM (Digital Elevation Map)ID: 653Collected with LOLA 2009-07-13 to 2009-12-17
Tycho DEMID: 5511998
Margot et al.
This dataset can be found at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=00841991See all pages that use this dataset
Clementine 750-nm BasemapID: 545Mosaic Collected with UVVIS Camera 1994-02-26 to 1994-04-21
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.