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Lunar Images and Maps

Digitized photographic images of the Moon taken from Earth with telescopes, from spacecraft orbiting the Moon, from astronauts and their equipment on the lunar surface, and by spacecraft flying by the Moon, plus digital images taken by spacecraft exploring the Moon.

Lunar South Pole Atlas
LPI's Lunar South Pole Atlas contains a series of maps, images, and illustrations designed to support efforts to explore the lunar south pole, including NASA's plans to land astronauts there by 2024. To assist the lunar community with those endeavors, the atlas compiles a set of new data products, such as topographic and slope maps, plus other content drawn from LPI's existing collections. The content should assist with an initial sequence of missions. The atlas will also continue to grow with products that reflect those initial missions and, thus, should continue to assist the community with "long-term exploration and utilization" of the lunar surface.

Atlas of Lunar Sinuous Rilles
LPI’s Atlas of Lunar Sinuous Rilles illustrates 195 lunar sinuous rilles on the nearside and farside of the Moon.  This atlas provides an interface with which all sinuous rilles can be observed in geographic context with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera’s (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) image mosaics of various hemispheric views of the Moon.  Furthermore, this tool provides access to additional geographic information and a high-resolution (6 m/pix) Kaguya Terrain Camera (TC) image of each sinuous rille. 

Lunar Sample Atlas
LPI’s Lunar Sample Atlas provides an easily accessible library of images 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. Links to additional information about each sample are provided for those that have been previously described in The Lunar Sample Compendium and Lunar Sample Catalogs. Version 1 of the atlas is being released in August 2009. The process of scanning lunar sample images continues and the atlas will grow in the future.

Apollo Surface Panoramas
Apollo Surface Panoramas is a digital library of photographic panoramas that the Apollo astronauts took while exploring the Moon's surface. These images provide a spectacular boots-on-the-ground view of the lunar landscape. The panoramas are stitched together from individual 70mm Hasselblad frames, each of which is also accessible through this new atlas. Lunar surface features captured in the panoramas can be studied using zoom and pan tools. An annotated version of each panorama is also available to assist users with the identification of major geographic features around each Apollo landing site.

Lunar Surface Flyovers
This atlas of Lunar Surface Flyovers provides a series of digital movies that allow viewers to fly over the dramatic terrain of the lunar surface. The spectacular landscapes revealed in this atlas provide scientists with another tool to study the geology of the lunar surface. They also provide mission planners with another tool to select landing sites and design robotic and crew traverses. This is a “living” atlas. As new spacecraft missions generate additional flyovers, those digital movies will be added to the collection.

Lunar Atlases

The Lunar Orbiter Photo Gallery is an extensive collection of over 2,600 high- and moderate-resolution photographs produced by all five of the Lunar Orbiter missions. These photographs were taken in 1966–1967 to survey possible lunar landing sites and provide baseline imagery for geologic analysis of the lunar surface. The images were used to select the Apollo landing sites and to produce many of our existing lunar geologic maps. This photo gallery is the web's most comprehensive collection of Lunar Orbiter photographs and supporting mission documents.

Digital Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon by Bowker and Hughes (NASA SP-206) is considered the definitive reference manual to the global photographic coverage of the Moon. The images contained within the atlas are excellent for studying lunar morphology because they were obtained at low to moderate Sun angles. The digital Lunar Orbiter Atlas of the Moon is a reproduction of the 675 plates contained in Bowker and Hughes. The digital archive, however, offers many improvements upon its original hardbound predecessor. Multiple search capabilities were added to the database to expedite locating images and features of interest. For accuracy and usability, surface feature information has been updated and improved. Finally, to aid in feature identification, a companion image containing feature annotation has been included. The symbols on the annotated overlays, however, should only be used as locators and not for precise measurements. More detailed information about the digital archive process can be read in abstracts presented at the 30th and 31st Lunar and Planetary Science Conferences.

The Consolidated Lunar Atlas by Gerald P. Kuiper, Ewen A. Whitaker, Robert G. Strom, John W. Fountain, and Stephen M. Larson is a collection of the best photographic images of the Moon. These digital renditions were created and edited by Eric J. Douglass.

The Apollo Image Atlas is a comprehensive collection of Apollo-Saturn mission photography. Included are almost 25,000 lunar images, both from orbit and from the Moon's surface, as well as photographs of the Earth, astronauts, and mission hardware.

The Lunar Map Catalog is a collection of topographic, geologic, and shaded relief maps and charts of the Moon in a variety of scales. The collection includes the USGS Geologic Atlas of the Moon, Lunar Chart (LAC) Series, Lunar Earthside, Farside and Polar Chart (LMP) Series, Apollo Intermediate Charts (AIC), Lunar Photomaps Traverse Charts, and the more recent Lunar Topographic Orthophotomap (LTO) Series.

Ranger Photographs of the Moon is the online version of the NASA documents on the 1964–1965 NASA Lunar Ranger Program. It contains selected Ranger 7, Ranger 8, and Ranger 9 mission images and documentation from the photographic edition of the following Ranger publications.

  • Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, Part I: Camera "A" Series, Photographic Edition (1964)
    Also published as Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, Part I: Camera "A" Series, NASA SP-61 (1964)
  • Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, Part I: Camera "B" Series, Photographic Edition (1965)
    Also published as Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, Part I: Camera "B" Series, NASA SP-62 (1965)
  • Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, Part I: Camera "P" Series, Photographic Edition (1965)
    Also published as Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, Part I: Camera "P" Series, NASA SP-63 (1965)
  • Ranger VIII Photographs of the Moon, Photographic Edition (1966)
    Also published as Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, NASA SP-111 (1966)
  • Ranger IX Photographs of the Moon, Photographic Edition (1966)
    Also published as Ranger VII Photographs of the Moon, NASA SP-112 (1966)

South Pole-Aitken Basin Landing Site Database
This web site provides an ArcGIS system with co-registered base maps (e.g., topography and FeO abundances) and a series of feature layers (e.g., for volcanic rilles and ≥20 km-diameter impact craters) relevant to the South Pole-Aitken Basin.  This on-line atlas was prompted by the National Research Council’s 2007 report, The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon, and the National Research Council’s 2012 report Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013–2022, both of which suggest sample return missions to the South Pole-Aitken Basin. 

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