First-Ever Geological Map of The Moon Released
From a man that lives on the dark side, to being fully constructed of cheese, the rumors and folklore about the moon have no limits but what is the truth about Earth’s closest neighbor?
Well, all will be revealed as the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has just released a new, fully comprehensive map that helps explain the 4.5 billion-year-old history of the glorious moon.
New Geological Map
In a worldwide first, the entire lunar surface has been fully mapped and uniformly classified by scientists from the United States Geological Survey as well as NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute. The lunar map, which has been called the "Unified Geologic Map of the Moon, "will now be used as the official blueprint of the moon's surface geology for any future human missions. Not just that though, this will prove to be an invaluable tool for the international scientific community, educators, as well as the public alike. Currently available online, the new scaled-down (1: 5,000,000) digital map offers the moon’s geology in full and in amazing detail.
Former NASA astronaut and current USGS Director, Jim Reilly, had said that so many people have always been fascinated with the moon so to be able to create a resource that can not only help NASA with their planning for future missions but also offer the public some insight as to what those fortunate few will see when they make those first few steps on a different planet is just wonderful.
The finished product is amazing but it was no easy feat to get there. In order to create the map, scientists had to use information from six Apollo-era regional maps along with updated information from recent satellite missions to the moon. To preserve previous observations, the old maps were used as the base and then mixed with the updated information that has been collected over the years. Along with merging all these new and old data, USGS researchers also developed a description of the individual rock layers on the moon. Unlike previous maps where rock names, ages, and even descriptions were inconsistent, this new one is unified so it all matches up.
A culmination of decades-long research, this geological map is a thing of beauty that is sure to change the world's perspective of our closest neighbor.