Holy smokes look at this moonshine! Moonstruck by paintball?


You are looking at the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon, showing the geology of the Moon’s near side (left) and far side (right).

Click here to put the globe mapping in rotation motion.

The Moon is about 4.5 billion years old. Each color represents its own type of rock and the era from which it began its existence, giving the viewer a sense of storied geologic history. Yellow indicates rock from the moon’s Copernican period, which began a billion years ago, reds and purples indicate materials with volcanic or lava flow origins.

What started with Apollo missions over 50 years ago continues to this day. In a magnificent collaboration between the Astrogeology Science Center at the United States Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), this new geologic Moon map comes from combining what was learned through regional surface mapping of the Moon gathered from six different Apollo missions, then updated based on data input from recent satellite missions. The entire lunar surface has been completely mapped and classified uniformly.

This blueprint of the moon’s surface geology, topology, ages and chemical nature of the rocks will be invaluable not only for future missions, but also for the international scientific community, educators and the public-at-large.

Take a look:

With the new knowledge in hand, scientists will also have an easier time identifying hazards on the lunar surface, as well as potential spots where future missions might look to land.

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