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China Released Clearest Full Moon Map

The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense released to the public on February 6, 2012 a full moon map enjoying a 100% coverage of the lunar surface at a 7m resolution. The full moon map is made up of 746 images in 800GB. Spliced together at a scale of 1:80000, the lunar map reaches the size of a standard football field. Meanwhile, researchers produced a lunar image atlas and a lunar data atlas at a 50-meter resolution, along with a 3D full moon map. Spacecraft Chang'e II that has been sending lunar images to the earth station is currently staying at the L2 point, working on space environment probes and technical tests.

Comparing with the 120-m resolution full moon map derived from Chang'e I, the one from Chang'e II rendered a resolution up to 7 m, or 17 times higher in resolution, allowing people to see the fine details of crater edges on the moon surface, and a more detailed moon morphology.

For example, the Tycho impact crater on the front surface is 5 km deep and 85 km across, with a central peak standing in the middle at an elevation of 1.6 km. The crater’s 1500-kilometer radiating lines left by NEO impacts makes a very attractive scenery even can be viewed by naked eye from the Earth. On the new 7m-resolution lunar surface map, one can easily see rock cracks on the top of the central peak and the one at the bottom, including the collapsed part and individual rocks on the top of crater edges.

On the opposite side of the moon sit a satellite crater of the Wiener crater that is 47 km across. The 7m-resolution lunar map depicts the internal structural details of the crater, allowing people to distinguish the crater bottom from the edge rocks, and even to see the traces of rolling stones on the southeastern walls of the crater.

According to a briefing, like the full moon map derived from Chang'e I that has been made available to the public, the 7-meter resolution moon map data collected by Chang'e II will also be made available to international scientific communities.

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