China presents the first Lunar Geological Atlas on a global scale

China has just marked a significant milestone in space mapping by launching the first global-scale lunar geological atlas in high definition. Specific, The maps have a scale of 1:2.5 million. Additionally, this set of maps, available in both Chinese and English, includes the Geological Atlas of the Lunar Globe and the Quadrangles of the Geological Atlas of the Moon.

The Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was in charge of presenting this important resource on Sunday, which promises to be a fundamental pillar for future lunar research and exploration.

Greater understanding of the planets of the Solar System

The Lunar Geological Atlas is not only a technical achievement, but also a crucial resource for understanding the evolution of the moon, selecting locations for future lunar research stations, and harnessing lunar resources. According to Ouyang Ziyuan, a CAS academician and prominent lunar scientist, This atlas will also facilitate a better understanding of Earth and other planets in the Solar System, such as Mars.

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Since 2012, Ouyang Ziyuan and Liu Jianzhong have led a team of scientists and cartographers from various research institutions in compiling this atlas. Leveraging scientific exploration data obtained from China’s Chang’e lunar exploration program and other international missions, the team has achieved a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon.

The atlas not only provides basic data and scientific references for the formulation and implementation of scientific objectives in China’s lunar exploration program, but also fills a gap in the compilation of lunar and planetary geological maps, contributing to the study of the origin and evolution both the moon and the solar system.

Based on the perspective of lunar dynamic evolution, Chinese researchers have creatively established an updated lunar geological time scalewhich objectively represents the geological evolution of the moon and clearly shows the characteristics of lunar tectonic and magmatic evolution.

The atlas details a total of 12,341 impact craters, 81 impact basins, 17 types of lithologies and 14 types of structures distributed throughout the moon. This set of maps has been integrated into the digital lunar cloud platform built by Chinese scientists.

lunar base recreationlunar base recreation

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China’s Chang’e-6 mission represents a significant advance in lunar exploration, especially with its choice of the Apollo Crater as a landing and sample collection site. This crater, located on the far side of the Moon, offers a unique opportunity for scientific study due to its position and the characteristics of its terrain.

Geological Map of the MoonGeological Map of the Moon
Chinese Academy of Sciences

The lunar geological atlas maps have a scale of 1:2.5 million.

The far side of the Moon has remained largely unexplored compared to the visible side, and is especially interesting to scientists because the lack of direct exposure to Earth means it has been less subject to changes induced by our presence. In addition, the hidden side presents more rugged terrain and a greater number of craters, suggesting a complex and less altered geological history.

The location of the crater on the far side could have protected the materials within it from space weathering and terrestrial alterations, allowing for more intact preservation of the geological record.

The samples collected in the Apollo crater could offer new data on the formation and evolution of the Moon, as well as the geological processes that have occurred on its surface over billions of years. This, in turn, could offer insights into other celestial bodies in the Solar System..

Ultimately, the compilation of this map was an immense task that required the organization and cooperation of numerous knowledgeable researchers over many years to achieve a consistent and complete result. This achievement not only builds on the achievements of the international community over the past decades, but also in China’s successful Chang’e program. It will be a starting point for every new question in lunar geology and will become a primary resource for researchers studying lunar processes of all kinds.

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