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Solar System Exploration
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Lunar Topography: ULCN versus LOLA

This animation illustrates the dramatic improvement in our knowledge of the Moon's terrain made possible by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. A LOLA digital elevation map compiled in late 2009 is compared to the Unified Lunar Control Network (ULCN) 2005, a painstakingly constructed map based on the best available data at the time, including imagery from the Clementine, Apollo, Mariner 10, and Galileo missions as well as Earth-based observations.

The height of the terrain is color-coded, with blues and greens representing low altitudes and reds representing high altitudes. The LOLA data used to create this media is available to the public in the LOLA archive of the PDS Geosciences node.

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Last Updated: 21 Jun 2011