Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



LPI Expands Lunar Sample Atlas

September 9, 2010

Lunar SampleThe Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is pleased to announce the expansion of its digital lunar sample image collection.

More than 5000 new lunar thin section images have been added to the Lunar Sample Atlas. This atlasprovides pictures of the Apollo samples taken in the Lunar Sample Laboratory, full-color views of the samples in microscopic thin sections, cutting views and diagrams that illustrate how the samples were subdivided for scientific analyses, and in situ views of the samples on the lunar surface. The atlas contains information about the type of sample (e.g., rock, soil), the lithology (e.g., basalt, norite), and a description of the sample.

This expansion was made possible through the efforts of a collaborative team, including Rice University student Rob Hoffmann, who produced an immense number of new thin-section views. Access to the lunar samples was provided by the staff of the Lunar Curatorial Facility at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Also contributing to the project were colleagues Clive Neal, Katie O’Sullivan, Amy Fagan, and Pat Donohue of Notre Dame University. Partial funding for this project was provided by the NASA Lunar Science Institute.

The American Library Association recently listed the Lunar Sample Atlas as the “Digital Library of the Week.” The atlas illustrates both the scientific value and the artistic beauty of lunar samples, and users will revel in the stained-glass appearance of these treasures from the Moon.

For more lunar resources, visit

Lunar Science and Exploration

Center for Lunar Science and Exploration


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Last updated September 9, 2010