At some point in our lives, we’ve all must’ve gazed at the moon while it glimmers beautifully in the dead of the night. But no matter how hard we squint our eyes just to see a clearer image of our nearest cosmic neighbor, we’d always end up with a faint glimpse of its familiar rocky surface.
Luckily for us, the United States Geological Survey (USGS)’s Astrogeology Science Center released a map of the entire lunar surface, providing a comprehensive look of the moon’s surface geology.
The USGS said that the lunar map, which is called “Unified Geologic Map of the Moon,” will serve as the “definitive blueprint” of the moon’s geology. Apart from being a vital part of future human explorations, the agency said that the map will also be invaluable for the international scientific community, educators and the general public.
Corey Fortezzo, USGS geologist and lead author, said that the new digital map of the moon is a “culmination of a decades-long project.”
The agency said that the map was created using information from six Apollo-era regional maps along with updated information from recent satellite missions to the moon. The agency explained that by using existing historical maps and present-day data sets, they were able to preserve valuable observations and interpretations on the celestial body.
“It provides vital information for new scientific studies by connecting the exploration of specific sites on the moon with the rest of the lunar surface,” Fortezzo said.
The 1:5,000,000 scale map of the moon can be viewed here.