Planets and Moons  ID: 3730

Lunar Topography: ULCN versus LOLA

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.

Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (UMBC): Lead Animator
Andrew Freeberg (NASA/GSFC): Producer
John Keller (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
Unified Lunar Control Network 2005 1970 to 2005
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 >> Elevation data
SVS >> False Color
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Lunar Surface
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Craters
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons