China publishes high-resolution full moon map

Updated: 2012-02-06 12:12


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BEIJING - China on Monday published a set of full coverage of moon map and moon images with a resolution of seven meters captured by the country's second moon orbiter, the Chang'e-2.

China publishes high-resolution full moon map

The full coverage of moon images captured by Chang'e-2, China's second moon orbiter, Feb 6, 2012.  [Photo/Xinhua]

The map and images released by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) are the world's highest-resolution lunar images ever published that cover all of the moon, said Liu Dongkui, deputy chief commander of China's lunar probe project.

The images were photographed by a charge-coupled device (CCD) stereo camera on Chang'e-2 from the heights of 100 km and 15 km over the lunar surface between October 2010 and May 2011, the SASTIND statement said.

The resolution of the images obtained from Chang'e-2 is 17 times finer than those taken by the its predecessor Chang'e-1.

If there were airports and harbors on the moon, the Chang'e-1 could just identify them while Chang'e-2 could detect the planes or ships in them, said Tong Qingxi, academician with the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The scientists also made some adjustments to the original data to more accurately reflect the topographic and geomorphologic features of the moon, the SASTIND statement said.

The scientists have produced 746 moon pictures with the resolution of seven meters, and the total volume of data is about 800 GB, the statement said.

The satellite is now orbiting the second Lagrange Point (L2) more than 1.5 million kms away from Earth.

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