Planets and Moons  ID: 3731

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.

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Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (UMBC): Lead Animator
Marte Newcombe (GST): Animator
Andrew Freeberg (NASA/GSFC): Producer
James Garvin (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Data Used:
LRO/LOLA/Digital Elevation Map 2009-07-13 to 2009-12-17
Tycho DEM 1998
Clementine/UVVIS Camera/750-nm Basemap 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.

This item is part of these series:
The Moon
LRO - Animations

SVS >> Clementine
SVS >> Elevation data
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> South Pole
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Lunar Surface
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Craters
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons