China releases world’s most detailed moon map yetChina has released a new geological map of the moon, which it says is the most detailed to date, registering even finer details of the lunar surface than mapped by the US in 2020
Published on Jun 08, 2022 07:04 PM IST
China has released a new geological map of the moon, which it says is the most detailed to date, registering even finer details of the lunar surface than mapped by the US in 2020.
The new map, which has details of craters and structures not charted before, will assist in further research of the moon, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Centre had, for the first time, mapped and classified the entire lunar surface in collaboration with Nasa and the Lunar Planetary Institute in 2020.
That digital map showed the moon’s geology in, what the Science Centre described as, incredible detail at a scale of 1:5000000.
Chinese scientists, however, say they have done better.
“China has released a new comprehensive geologic map of the moon to a scale of 1:2500000, the most detailed to date,” China’s national broadcaster, CGTN said in a brief report on Wednesday.
“The map includes 12,341 impact craters, 81 impact basins, 17 rock types and 14 types of structures, providing abundant information about geology of the moon and its evolution,” the report said.
The new map was first published in a Chinese science journal called the Science Bulletin a week ago.
“It is expected to make a great contribution to scientific research, exploration and landing site selection on the moon.”
Chinese scientists from several research institutes created the “high resolution topographic map” based on data from China’s lunar exploration Chang’e project and other data and research findings from international organisations.
The map project was led by the Institute of Geochemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
China has sent several probes to the moon in the last few decades.
In January 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 probe landed on the far side of the moon, making it the first spacecraft to touch down on the part of the moon, which is never visible from earth.
And, in December 2020, China’s Chang’e-5 mission has returned to Earth with the cargo of rock and “soil” it collected from the lunar surface.
China has also left its mark on the moon. At least eight features on the moon near the landing area of the Chinese spacecraft Chang’e-5 were named after Chinese scientists and places in May 2021.
The Paris-based International Astronomical Union (IAU) said in a statement that it had approved eight Chinese names for features on the moon in the vicinity of the Chang’e-5’s landing site.
The total number of lunar features, which now have Chinese names, is 35.
China plans to send a crewed mission to the moon in the 2030.
China has released a new geological map of the moon, which it says is the most detailed to date, registering even finer details of the lunar surface than mapped by the US in 2020