Chinese Map of the Moon

Image (Credit): Map of the Moon’s surface. (NSSDC Space Science Article Data Repository)

Earlier this month, China released a geological map of the Moon’s surface. It is to a scale of 1:2,500,000. Here is the accompanying description of the map:

Geologic maps of the Moon provide comprehensive information about the geologic strata, structural features, lithologies, and chronology of the lunar crustal surface, which reflect the evolution of the lunar crust under igneous processes, catastrophic impacts, and volcanic activities. The map in this repository is the first 1:2,500,000-scale lunar global geologic map, which incorporates the most comprehensive knowledge about the Moon by taking advantage of the latest exploration results and scientific findings. An updated lunar time scale is employed in this map to better reflect the dynamic evolution of the Moon. The map provides a state-of-the-art illustration of impact basins and craters of different periods, the distributions of 17 types of rocks and 14 types of structures.

With numerous countries considering lunar bases, greater details about the Moon’s surface could be very useful. I would have liked an overlay showing the various lunar mission remains already sitting on the Moon’s surface.

By the way, while the press is calling this the first comprehensive lunar map, there have been others, including the map below released two years ago by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. I say the more maps the better for everyone.

Image (Credit): This new work represents a seamless, globally consistent, 1:5,000,000-scale geologic map derived from the six digitally renovated geologic maps. (USGS)