Maps show drastic drop in China’s air pollution after coronavirus quarantine – The Verge

Maps show drastic drop in China’s air pollution after coronavirus quarantine

Restricting travel means less tailpipe emissions

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NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using modified Copernicus Sentinel 5P data processed by the European Space Agency.

There’s been a dramatic drop in pollution across China as the country tries to contain COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. New maps using data collected from NASA and European Space Agency satellites show how nitrogen dioxide, a dangerous gas released by burning fuel, has dissipated since the outbreak.

Maps depicting nitrogen dioxide levels in Wuhan, China from January 1st through February 25th of last year show the region blanketed in fiery colors, with parts in a deeper red signifying high concentrations of the pollutant. Fast forward to this year, and maps of the same region show a stark difference: they’re nearly all blue, showing lower concentrations.

Even though pollution typically drops during that time period as the country celebrates the Lunar New Year, scientists say what they’re seeing this year is a stark difference. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement. The steep fall in emissions happened more rapidly than what she observed during the 2008 economic recession, and is also lingering longer than the drop in pollution in Beijing during the Olympics that year. “I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimize spread of the virus,” Liu said.

The new coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan in December. By January, officials had quarantined the city — halting planes, trains, subways, and most private vehicles. As the virus spread beyond Wuhan, so did quarantines that shut down businesses, stopped travel, and curbed emissions. A map of the country before the quarantines (from January 1st to 20th) is covered with orange and red splotches, while those splotches are noticeably absent in another map depicting China after quarantines were put in place (from February 10th to 25th).

The cleaner air will hopefully provide some relief as China copes with a novel coronavirus that affects the lungs. On its own, nitrogen dioxide can inflame airways and make it harder for people to breathe. It also reacts with other chemicals to create soot, smog, and acid rain.

Map: NASA Shows Big Dip in U

Map: NASA Shows Big Dip in U.S. Groundwater Regionally, Especially Near Texas Drought

Using calculations based on satellite observations and long-term meteorological data, a new map shows that groundwater is extremely depleted across more than half of Texas, as well as areas of Alabama, the Carolinas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, and Oregon.

The worst Texas drought in more than a century has reduced groundwater throughout most of the state to the lowest levels in more than 60 years, according to a new map by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (The December 5 map, shown below, has been updated from the November 28 map, which was used in the NASA press release.)

These maps are generated weekly by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, by entering long-term meteorological data and satellite observations into a sophisticated computer model. The meteorological data includes precipitation, temperature, solar radiation, and other ground- and space-based measurements, while the satellite observations come from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, which can detect small changes in the Earth’s gravity field that are caused by the redistribution of water on and beneath the ground’s surface.

The color-coded maps show some regions of the United States where current ground moisture is significantly lower than the long-term average, dating back to 1948, when the levels of groundwater and soil moisture were first recorded. In the map above, the maroon shading over eastern Texas, for example, indicates that the level of dryness over the last week has occurred less than 2 percent of the time during the past 63 years.

“Texas groundwater will take months or longer to recharge,” said Matt Rodell, a hydrologist based at Goddard, according to the NASA press release. This year’s Texas drought pitted farmers, cities, and power plants in a vicious competition for water, and dry conditions are expected to continue into 2012. “Even if we have a major rainfall event, most of the water runs off. It takes a longer period of sustained greater-than-average precipitation to recharge aquifers significantly.”

Scientists have suggested that these maps could prove useful for policy makers, farmers, and water managers as a new tool to monitor the health of critical groundwater resources and to distinguish between short-term and long-term droughts.

“People rely on groundwater for irrigation, for domestic water supply, and for industrial uses, but there’s little information available on regional to national scales on groundwater storage variability and how that has responded to a drought,” Rodell said. “Over a long-term dry period, there will be an effect on groundwater storage and groundwater levels. It’s going to drop quite a bit, people’s wells could dry out, and it takes time to recover.”

The weekly maps are publicly available on the National Drought Mitigation Center’s website.

, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.

Sep 9, 2019 – New Landsat Infrared Instrument Ships from NASA

Landsat Headlines

From orbit aboard the Landsat 9 satellite, the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2, or TIRS-2, will measure the temperature of Earth’s land surfaces, detecting everything from a smoldering wildfire, to the amount of irrigation used on crop fields, to wispy clouds that are all but invisible to other instruments. First, however, it had to survive tests that simulated the harsh environment of space.

Engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, work on the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 instrument, which will measure surface temperatures on Earth from the Landsat 9 satellite. The TIRS-2 team recently finished building and testing the instrument, which was shipped to Gilbert, Arizona, where it will be integrated with the rest of the spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

This month, TIRS-2 successfully passed the stringent 12-week testing process at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. It was shipped to Northrop Grumman’s facility in Arizona, where it and the Operational Land Imager 2 will be assembled onto the Landsat 9 spacecraft. Landsat 9 is a joint effort of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Like digital cameras on a smart phone, the TIRS-2 instrument is an imager, said Joel McCorkel, the instrument’s deputy project scientist. But while a camera detects light reflected off an object, TIRS-2 detects the thermal energy that an object emits. The hotter a surface is, the more energy the instrument will detect. And since TIRS-2 is a highly-calibrated scientific instrument, not a camera, it provides data that researchers can use to investigate key questions about our home planet.

TIRS-2 is designed to work in the same way as the first TIRS instrument, which launched on Landsat 8 in 2013 and is still collecting important data on Earth’s surface temperature. But the latest version has a couple improvements.

“The beauty of TIRS-2, is that we had TIRS data from up in orbit and were able to look at what worked, and how we could mitigate what didn’t work,” said Melody Djam, TIRS-2 instrument deputy project manager at Goddard.

The TIRS-2 team incorporated a new optical component to shield the instrument’s sensor from stray light that had caused problems on the original instrument, requiring software fixes. The first TIRS was also designed, constructed, and integrated in less than three years – which is an incredibly quick turnaround for a satellite’s instrument – and so it was only required to last three years. TIRS-2, however, is designed with redundant electronics and other components in order to last at least five years.

TIRS-2 has about 10 main components, and each one was built and tested individually before engineers brought everything together to ensure the instrument worked, Djam said. The engineering team, which included as many as 250 people, then tested the whole instrument both in the clean room, as well as in environmental chambers that simulate the launch and space environments.

With round-the-clock shifts and successful tests, the team delivered the instrument more than two weeks ahead of its target date. TIRS-2 passed its pre-ship review on Aug. 12 and was trucked to Gilbert, Arizona in two shipments. At the Northrop Grumman facility, the team will reassemble it, test it, and make sure everything is ready to integrate the instrument with the Landsat 9 spacecraft this fall.

Taking Earth’s temperatures from orbit

Landsat satellites have been observing Earth since 1972, building the longest continuous record from space of the planet’s forests, farms, cities, and other surfaces. Starting with Landsat 4 and continuing through the first TIRS instrument on Landsat 8, the satellites have carried instruments that can detect thermal energy as well as visible and infrared light – and water managers and others have put these observations to work.

“Landsat’s thermal data is critical for tracking water use in the western United States, where rainfall can be short in supply and managing water resources is critical to ensuring a sustainable supply for farmers, cities, and natural ecosystems,” said Bruce Cook, Landsat 9 deputy project scientist at Goddard.

Banner photo:Engineers pose with the TIRS-2 instrument, which was built and tested at NASA Goddard (credit: NASA)

NASA s MAVEN maps winds in the martian upper atmosphere, EurekAlert! Science News

NASA’s MAVEN maps winds in the martian upper atmosphere

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

IMAGE: Computer-generated visualization of the orbital paths (white dots) taken by the MAVEN spacecraft as it mapped winds (blue lines) in the Martian upper atmosphere. Red lines coming from the white. view more

Credit: NASA Goddard/MAVEN/SVS/Greg Shirah

Researchers have created the first map of wind circulation in the upper atmosphere of a planet besides Earth, using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft that were collected during the last two years. The new map of Mars winds helps scientists to better understand the workings of the Martian climate, giving them a more accurate picture of its ancient past and its ongoing evolution.

MAVEN, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission, recently celebrated the five-year anniversary of its entrance into orbit around Mars on September 21. The primary scientific goal of the mission is to study what is left of Mars’ atmosphere to determine how, in the distant past, an ocean-covered and potentially habitable Mars became the dry and desolate place it is today. Studying the present Martian atmosphere — the rate at which it is being lost to space and how and why it is being stripped away — gives us clues with which we can piece together the puzzle of understanding planetary atmospheres, including our own.

“The observed global circulation provides critical inputs needed to constrain global atmospheric models,” said Mehdi Benna of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led one of the two studies that enabled the creation of the revolutionary winds map. “These are the same models that are used to extrapolate the state of the Martian climate into the distant past.” Benna is lead author of a paper on this research published December 12 in Science.

“The winds observed in the Martian upper atmosphere are sometimes similar to what we see in global model simulations, but other times can be quite different,” said Kali Roeten of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. “These winds can also be highly variable on the timescale of hours, yet in other cases, are consistent throughout the observation period.” Roeten is lead author of the second paper on this research published December 12 in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets.

Upper atmospheric winds on Earth have already been mapped in detail. Winds drive a series of processes in the atmosphere that can affect the propagation of radio waves, which are crucial for communications purposes for those on the surface, and the prediction of paths satellites will take in their orbit around Earth. Mapping Martian winds, therefore, is a crucial step towards understanding characteristics of extraterrestrial atmospheres beyond what we know about processes on Earth.

Planetary atmospheres aren’t static, and they certainly aren’t uniform. To categorize where distinctive processes occur, the layers of atmospheres are differentiated based on temperature. For example, humans live in the lowest level: the troposphere. That’s where weather happens, and temperature gets cooler at higher altitudes.

The upper atmospheric winds on both Earth and Mars are in the planets’ respective thermospheres, which are areas where temperature increases with height. The measurements of winds that were recently mapped above Mars were found at an altitude range of about 140-240 kilometers (85-150 miles) above the planet’s surface.

MAVEN’s journey

The wind data has been gathered by the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS). NGIMS’ original purpose was to determine the structure and composition of the Martian atmosphere by measuring in it the amounts of ions (electrically charged particles) and gases. However, although it was not originally designed to do so, in April 2016, the MAVEN team began using NGIMS to observe horizontal winds. Pausing normal collection of data, scientists on Earth programmed the instrument to nod back and forth so that it could detect the direction of winds along its track.

By combining data from many tracks as MAVEN orbits Mars, scientists slowly built up a map of wind behavior. This led to a startling discovery: the wind patterns actually correlated with the Martian topography below.

Far above and down below

Mars has tall mountains and steep valleys just as Earth does, and winds on the surface are forced above and around this topography. The disturbance of surface winds leads to echoes of these wind patterns in the Martian thermosphere as gravity waves.

Atmospheric gravity waves (not to be confused with extragalactic gravitational waves) are caused by the displacement of air masses from a resting state. Gravity tries to bring the fluid back to equilibrium, and in doing so, creates waves in the disturbed fluid.

As the gravity waves created when wind on Mars is forced around surface topography ripple upwards through the atmosphere, MAVEN can detect where valleys and mountains are on the surface — even if it’s orbiting at the very edge of space.

This discovery was the first detection of topography-induced gravity wave ripples in the thermosphere of any planet, even Earth. The MAVEN team plans to study these gravity waves further during different seasons and in different locations on Mars to improve understanding of not only the specifics of thermospheric winds but also of the very fundamentals of physics itself.

This research was funded by the MAVEN mission. MAVEN’s principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, and NASA Goddard manages the MAVEN project. NASA is exploring our Solar System and beyond, uncovering worlds, stars, and cosmic mysteries near and far with our powerful fleet of space and ground-based missions.

Bill Steigerwald / Nancy Jones

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

New NASA satellite maps show human fingerprint on global air quality – ScienceDaily

New NASA satellite maps show human fingerprint on global air quality

Using new, high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators, NASA scientists tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe. The findings were presented Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

“These changes in air quality patterns aren’t random,” said Bryan Duncan, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led the research. “When governments step in and say we’re going to build something here or we’re going to regulate this pollutant, you see the impact in the data.”

Duncan and his team examined observations made from 2005 to 2014 by the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA’s Aura satellite. One of the atmospheric gases the instrument detects is nitrogen dioxide, a yellow-brown gas that is a common emission from cars, power plants and industrial activity. Nitrogen dioxide can quickly transform into ground-level ozone, a major respiratory pollutant in urban smog. Nitrogen dioxide hotspots, used as an indicator of general air quality, occur over most major cities in developed and developing nations.

The science team analyzed year-to-year trends in nitrogen dioxide levels around the world. To look for possible explanations for the trends, the researchers compared the satellite record to information about emission controls regulations, national gross domestic product and urban growth.

“With the new high-resolution data, we are now able to zoom down to study pollution changes within cities, including from some individual sources, like large power plants,” said Duncan.

Previous work using satellites at lower resolution missed variations over short distances. This new space-based view offers consistent information on pollution for cities or countries that may have limited ground-based air monitoring stations. The resulting trend maps tell a unique story for each region.

The United States and Europe are among the largest emitters of nitrogen dioxide. Both regions also showed the most dramatic reductions between 2005 and 2014. Nitrogen dioxide has decreased from 20 to 50 percent in the United States, and by as much as 50 percent in Western Europe. Researchers concluded that the reductions are largely due to the effects of environmental regulations that require technological improvements to reduce pollution emissions from cars and power plants.

China, the world’s growing manufacturing hub, saw an increase of 20 to 50 percent in nitrogen dioxide, much of it occurring over the North China Plain. Three major Chinese metropolitan areas — Beijing, Shanghai, and the Pearl River Delta — saw nitrogen dioxide reductions of as much as 40 percent.

The South African region encompassing Johannesburg and Pretoria has the highest nitrogen dioxide levels in the Southern Hemisphere, but the high-resolution trend map shows a complex situation playing out between the two cities and neighboring power plants and industrial areas.

“We had seen seemingly contradictory trends over this area of industrial South Africa in previous studies,” said Anne Thompson, co-author and chief scientist for atmospheric chemistry at Goddard. “Until we had this new space view, it was a mystery.”

The Johannesburg-Pretoria metro area saw decreases after new cars were required in 2008 to have better emissions controls. The heavily industrialized area just east of the cities, however, shows both decreases and increases. The decreases may be associated with fewer emissions from eight large power plants east of the cities since the decrease occurs over their locations. However, emissions increases occur from various other mining and industrial activities to the south and further east.

In the Middle East, increased nitrogen dioxide levels since 2005 in Iraq, Kuwait and Iran likely correspond to economic growth in those countries. However, in Syria, nitrogen dioxide levels decreased since 2011, most likely because of the civil war, which has interrupted economic activity and displaced millions of people.

NASA Aquarius Mission – Aquarius Data

Gallery: Aquarius Data

Scientists involved with the Aquarius/SAC-D mission have a wealth of data at their fingertips, owing in large part to the immense amount of instrumentation aboard the satellite. The main focus of the mission was to detect changes in ocean surface salinity on a global scale, as shown on monthly images produced by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Scientists are also able to measure salinity variance and brightness temperature at high latitudes, which are depicted in weekly maps. (View our FAQs page for an explanation of brightness temperature.)

These maps show mission composite, monthly, seasonal, and annual data and are produced by Norman Kuring (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) and are based on the latest algorithms developed by the Aquarius Calibration/Validation working group. (161 images)

These maps show global sea surface salinity averaged by month and season.They are produced using software written by Joel Gales, John Wilding, and others at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and are based on the latest algorithms developed by the Aquarius Calibration/Validation working group. (16 images)

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) can mask the salinity signal measured by the microwave radiometers.These monthly images, produced by Paolo de Matthaeis (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), show global monthly RFI at 1.413 GHz, the frequency of the three radiometers on board Aquarius. (45 images)

RFI can mask the salinity signal measured by the scatterometer.These monthly images, produced by Paolo de Matthaeis (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), show global monthly RFI at 1.26 GHz, the frequency of the scatterometer on board Aquarius. (45 images)

These weekly maps, produced by Ludovic Brucker (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Universities Space Research Association) and Emmanuel Dinnat (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Chapman University), are made using Aquarius sea surface salinity retrievals and show sea surface salinity at latitudes higher than 50°. (392 images)

These weekly maps, produced by Ludovic Brucker (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Universities Space Research Association) and Emmanuel Dinnat (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Chapman University), show the Aquarius (L-Band, about 1.4 GHz) brightness temperature measurements recorded at vertical polarization at latitudes higher than 50°. (392 images)

These weekly gridded maps, produced by Oleg Melnichenko (International Pacific Research Center), are based on the optimum interpolation (OI) analysis of Aquarius sea surface salinity data for the North Atlantic Ocean. (195 images)

These monthly maps, produced by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center‘s Aquarius Data Processing System, are derived from Aquarius sea surface salinity and ancillary sea surface temperature using TEOS-10 equation of state. (45 images)

ArcNews Spring 2007 Issue – NASA Center Launches GIS

Goddard space flight center map

Goddard Space Flight Center‘s Wallops Flight Facility, located on the eastern shore of Virginia, was established in 1945 as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) center for aeronautic research. NASA manages dozens of research, flight, and education centers around the United States. Wallops Flight Facility is responsible for rocket launches, scientific balloon projects, and aircraft missions. In December 2006, the facility demonstrated its capabilities with the successful launch of a U.S. Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket. Four more Minotaur rocket launches are planned over the next few months.

Over the past 10 years, Wallops gathered a wealth of mapping information for the facility. This mapping data depicted facility, environmental, mission management, and range safety features and was available primarily in CAD format via numerous drawing files. The problem facing mapping and nonmapping users alike was determining which CAD files contained the most current information and making the data available for a variety of NASA applications. Moreover, data organization issues made maintenance of the mapping data at the facility cumbersome and inconsistent.

Recognizing the need to standardize mapping data at the facility and provide tools for distributing maps to its users, Wallops developed the Geographic Information System for Managing Operations (GISMO). NASA has directed all its facilities to use ArcGIS as their standard GIS software package. Moreover, Wallops has been using Esri’s software for more than a decade, so the implementation of ArcGIS 9.2 for this project was a natural extension of its existing investment in GIS.

Applying industry database design standards and implementing a Web mapping interface available via the Wallops intranet, GISMO would provide managers with the ability to create maps, publish them as map services, and quickly make them available to authorized users through its secure Web application.


Maps can be exported from GISMO to PDF in a variety of page sizes using the layout properties in the original GIS document.

GISMO uses ArcGIS Server 9.2 Standard Workgroup to manage the storage and distribution of its GIS database and application. This allows both the data and application to be stored and maintained with one software license. NASA contracted with WorldView Solutions (an Esri Business Partner headquartered in Richmond, Virginia) for needs assessment, database design, application development, and training services.

NASA chose to use the Spatial Data Standard for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE), developed by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s CADD/GIS Technology Center, for its GIS database design. SDSFIE establishes standards for GIS implementation at U.S. military installations and other federal government organizations. SDSFIE provides Wallops with a complete data model for loading dozens of existing data layers into its GIS database. By using these industry-accepted database design standards, the facility has benefited from data integration efforts taking place at other federal organizations. Wallops can also share its data with other federal facilities, secure in the knowledge that they will be able to quickly make use of Wallops’ data because it is based on a common data model.

The Web mapping tools in GISMO were developed for ArcGIS Server using Microsoft .NET’s C# development environment, based on an open services architecture. This translates into an environment where map services can be published and immediately distributed to end users via the GISMO Web interface. A selection of available maps is provided in a drop-down list on the application interface, and users can switch maps swiftly without having to load a new Web page. Security is handled in the map service folders managed in ArcGIS Desktop by matching the folder name to a group name on the NASA domain, greatly reducing the headache of permissions administration. If users are members of a group with the same name as the map service folder, they are granted access to the map service in the GISMO Web mapping application. Because the GISMO application gives secure access to every map service running in ArcGIS Server, users can use one Web page to access all the facility’s GIS data.


U.S. Air Force Minotaur launch in December 2006.

GISMO leverages published GIS documents as the exclusive source for map symbology, labeling, bookmarks, layouts, and querying functionality. For example, when a user identifies a feature on the map, the Web client interface only shows attribute fields that were set as visible in the document. Search functionality also observes domain values, default values, and field types, yielding simple, rapid, and meaningful data query results in the Web application.

By taking advantage of ArcGIS Server’s archiving capabilities, Wallops is also maintaining a detailed historical record of data changes and creating records to support future facility planning efforts. The building footprints data layer, for instance, contains historical building information in addition to schematics of structures slated for future construction. This data is being employed in a GISMO map service for the facility’s master planning project, providing a live map showing the current facility buildings and what facilities might look like 5, 10, or 15 years in the future.

The turnkey tools and enterprise database developed for NASA were completed over the course of a six-month project schedule.

Says Caroline Massey, assistant director of Management Operations, “Wallops Flight Facility is home to NASA’s only launch range. Safe orbital launch operations require very precise map-based planning and communication tools across many organizational lines and with the public. The Wallops Enterprise GIS is one of the most important management tools to support Wallops’ move into orbital launch program support for NASA small satellite programs, DoD operationally responsive space programs, and commercial space efforts for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Space Port.”

Lunar South Pole Atlas

Lunar South Pole Atlas

Foreword
Julie D. Stopar and David A. Kring

NASA has been directed to land astronauts at the lunar south pole by 2024, an objective with a five-year timeline. Speed, safety, and efficiency are key priorities driving this implementation of Space Policy Directive-1, which is to have humans on the Moon for “long-term exploration and utilization.” To assist NASA and the lunar community, we have compiled an online atlas that consists of a series of maps, images, and illustrations of the south polar region. We include some new data products developed with the south pole directive in mind; other content is drawn from LPI’s existing collection of Lunar Images and Maps and its Library of Classroom Illustrations. Links to additional data products derived from recent and ongoing planetary missions are also included. This atlas is curated to provide context and to be a reference for those interested in the exploration of the Moon’s south pole.

Lunar Polar Maps

Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Pole (80°S to Pole)

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 20-m elevation product between 80В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Pole (80В°S to Pole), Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2169, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1254

Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Pole (80°S to Pole)

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 20-m elevation product between 80В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Permanently shaded regions (PSRs) larger than 10 km 2 digitized by Arizona State University and determined by Mazarico et al. (2011) are shown as red outlines with black fill. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Pole (80В°S to Pole), Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2170, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1255

Near-Surface Temperatures Modeled for the Moon’s South Pole (85°S to Pole)

This map is based on model data released by Paige et al. (2010) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Diviner instrument. Modeled temperatures are represented with color and overlain on a hillshaded relief map produced from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) 20-m-elevation data product (NASA Goddard Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017).

Citation: Stopar J. (2019) Near-Surface Temperatures Modeled at the Moon’s South Pole (85В°S to Pole), Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2216, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1336

Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Pole (85°S to Pole)

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 20-m elevation product between 85В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Pole (85В°S to Pole), Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2171, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1256

Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Pole (85°S to Pole)

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 20-m elevation product between 85В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Permanently shaded regions (PSRs) larger than 10 km 2 digitized by Arizona State University and determined by Mazarico et al. (2011) are shown as gray outlines. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Pole (85В°S to Pole), Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2172, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1257

Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) 85В°S to Pole of the Moon

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 20-m elevation product between 85В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Permanently shaded Regions (PSRs) larger than 10 km 2 digitized by Arizona State University and determined by Mazarico et al. (2011) are shown as gray outlines. 1000-m elevation contours (relative to global radius) are shown as green lines with elevations marked. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Selected feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) 85В°S to Pole of the Moon, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2173, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1258

Slope Map of the Moon’s South Pole (85°S to Pole)

This map is based on data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The map shows slopes derived from the LOLA 10-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The slope is represented with four traditional colors 0В° to 5В° (bright green), 5В° to 10В° (dark green), 10В° to 15В° (yellow), and >15В° (red). A second version of the map, with colors that may be attractive to those with color blindness, is also available: 0В° to 5В° (blue), 5В° to 10В° (darker blue), 10В° to 15В° (yellow), and >15В° (red). The map covers the region from latitude 85В°S to the pole on the rim of Shackleton crater. Slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°.

A product of the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program: Harish, Venkata Satya Kumar Animireddi, Natasha Barrett, Sarah Boazman, Aleksandra Gawronska, Cosette Gilmour, Samuel Halim, Kathryn McCanaan, Jahnavi Shah, and David Kring.

Download option: Map 1, PDF (58 MB) LPI Contribution 2229, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1366
Download option: Map 2, PDF (84 MB) with alternative color scheme. LPI Contribution 2230, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1367

Slope Map of the Moon’s South Pole (85В°S to Pole) – Map 3

This map is based on data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The map shows slopes derived from the LOLA 10-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The slope is represented with four traditional colors 0В° to 5В° (light green), 5В° to 10В° (bright green), 10В° to 15В° (dark green), 15В° to 20В° (yellow), and >20В° (red). The map covers the region from latitude 85В°S to the pole on the rim of Shackleton crater. Slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°.

A product of the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program: Harish, Venkata Satya Kumar Animireddi, Natasha Barrett, Sarah Boazman, Aleksandra Gawronska, Cosette Gilmour, Samuel Halim, Kathryn McCanaan, Jahnavi Shah, and David Kring.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera Mosaic of the Moon’s South Pole

This map is based on image mosaics released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) 1-m-scale south pole mosaic. Permanently shaded regions (PSRs) larger than 10 km 2 digitized by Arizona State University and determined by Mazarico et al. (2011) are shown as red outlines. Inset map shows PSR areas in square kilometers. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole.

Citation: Stopar J. (2019) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera Mosaic of the Moon’s South Pole, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2190, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1300

Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Pole

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map. [Note: This map was not controlled using the techniques of Glaser et al. (2014, 2018), thus there are artifacts in LOLA track offsets.]

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Pole, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2174, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1259

Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Pole

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product between 85В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Permanently shaded regions (PSRs) larger than 10 km 2 digitized by Arizona State University and determined by Mazarico et al. (2011) are shown as gray outlines. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map. [Note: This map was not controlled using the techniques of Glaser et al. (2014, 2018), thus there are artifacts in LOLA track offsets.]

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Pole, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2175, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1260

Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) 87В°S to Pole of the Moon

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered on the south pole and shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product between 85В°S and the pole (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Permanently shaded regions (PSRs) larger than 10 km 2 digitized by Arizona State University and determined by Mazarico et al. (2011) are shown as gray outlines. 1000-m elevation contours (relative to global radius) are shown as green lines with elevations marked. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Selected feature names are included on the map. [Note: This map was not controlled using the techniques of Glaser et al. (2014, 2018), thus there are artifacts in LOLA track offsets.]

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) 87В°S to Pole of the Moon, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2176, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1261

Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered between de Gerlache and Shackleton craters and shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map. [Note: This map was not controlled using the techniques of Glaser et al. (2014, 2018), thus there are artifacts in LOLA track offsets.]

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topographic Map of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2177, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1262

Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered between de Gerlache and Shackleton craters and shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map. [Note: This map was not controlled using the techniques of Glaser et al. (2014, 2018), thus there are artifacts in LOLA track offsets.]

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs) of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2178, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1263

Annual Illumination and Topographic Slope of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The map is centered between de Gerlache and Shackleton craters and shows slopes derived from the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017) using Horn’s formula binned into three slope ranges and assigned color values. The slope data are overlain on LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) 100-m-scale percentage of illumination map (Speyerer and Robinson, 2013). The extent of the WAC illumination map is 88В°S to 90В°S; area outside of this range is shaded in black indicating no illumination data. Other black shaded areas indicate steep slopes and/or low illumination conditions. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Annual Illumination and Topographic Slope of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2179, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1264

Topographic Slopes (5-meter) of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered between de Gerlache and Shackleton craters and shows slopes derived from the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017) using Horn’s formula binned into seven slope ranges and assigned color values. The slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topographic Slopes (5-meter) of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2180, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1265

Topographic Slopes of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered between de Gerlache and Shackleton craters and shows slopes derived from the LOLA 20-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017) using Horn’s formula binned into seven slope ranges and assigned color values. The slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topographic Slopes of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2181, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1266

Topography and Relatively Flat Areas of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge

This map is based on data released by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). The map is centered between de Gerlache and Shackleton craters and shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product in color (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017) and slopes derived using Horn’s formula, binned into two slope ranges and assigned gray and black values. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Feature names are included on the map.

Citation: Stopar J. and Meyer H. (2019) Topography and Relatively Flat Areas of the Moon’s South Polar Ridge, Lunar and Planetary Institute Regional Planetary Image Facility, LPI Contribution 2182, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1267

Slope Map between Shackleton and de Gerlache Craters, Lunar South Pole

This map is based on data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The map shows slopes derived from the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The slope is represented with four traditional colors 0В° to 5В° (bright green), 5В° to 10В° (dark green), 10В° to 15В° (yellow), and >15В° (red).В A second version of the map, with colors that may be attractive to those with color blindness, is also available: 0В° to 5В° (blue), 5В° to 10В° (darker blue), 10В° to 15В° (yellow), and >15В° (red).В The map covers the region between Shackleton and de Gerlache craters.В Slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°.

A product of the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program: Harish, Venkata Satya Kumar Animireddi, Natasha Barrett, Sarah Boazman, Aleksandra Gawronska, Cosette Gilmour, Samuel Halim, Kathryn McCanaan, Jahnavi Shah, and David Kring.В

Download option: Map 1,В PDF (65 MB). LPI Contribution 2227, https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11753/1360
Download option: Map 2,В PDF (83 MB) with alternative color scheme. Contribution 2228, https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11753/1361

Slope Map Between Shackleton and de Gerlache Craters, Lunar South Pole – Map 3

This map is based on data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The map shows slopes derived from the LOLA 10-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017). The slope is represented with four traditional colors 0В° to 5В° (light green), 5В° to 10В° (bright green), 10В° to 15В° (dark green), 15В° to 20В° (yellow), and >20В° (red). The map covers the region between Shackleton and de Gerlache craters. Slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°.

A product of the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program: Harish, Venkata Satya Kumar Animireddi, Natasha Barrett, Sarah Boazman, Aleksandra Gawronska, Cosette Gilmour, Samuel Halim, Kathryn McCanaan, Jahnavi Shah, and David Kring.

Download option: Map 3, PDF (67 MB). LPI Contribution 2324, https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11753/1441

Topographic Contour Map of the Moon’s South Pole Ridge

This map is based on data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The map shows the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010, 2017). The extent of the map shows the lunar south pole (which lies on the rim of Shackleton crater) and the south polar ridge. An asymmetrical color stretch has been applied to the elevation data to highlight the topographical differences in this region. The elevation data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°. The map includes contours with 100-m intervals, derived using the elevation data.

A product of the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program: Kathryn McCanaan, Venkata Satya Kumar Animireddi, Natasha Barrett, Sarah Boazman, Aleksandra Gawronska, Cosette Gilmour, Samuel Halim, Harish, Jahnavi Shah, and David Kring. LPI Contribution No. 2213, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1326

Slope Map of the Moon’s South Pole Ridge

This map is based on data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The map shows slopes derived from the LOLA 5-m elevation product (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Smith et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2017) using Horn’s formula binned into seven slope ranges and assigned color values. The extent of the map shows the lunar south pole (which lies on the rim of Shackleton crater) and the south polar ridge. The slope data are overlain on a derived hillshade with solar azimuth 45В°W and solar elevation 45В°.

A product of the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program: Kathryn McCanaan, Venkata Satya Kumar Animireddi, Natasha Barrett, Sarah Boazman, Aleksandra Gawronska, Cosette Gilmour, Samuel Halim, Harish, Jahnavi Shah, and David Kring.В LPI Contribution no. 2214, https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/1327

MIIGAiK Hypsometric Map of the Lunar Polar Areas

Topographic maps provided courtesy of Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK). The maps include the lunar polar regions to 75В°. The maps are based on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and SELENE (Kaguya) data, and include feature names. Polar stereographic projection is used with scale true at the pole. Relief of features and supplementary maps of proposed Luna 25 landing sites in Boguslawsky crater are also included.

Citation: Kokhanov A. A., Rodionova Zh. F., and Karachevtseva I. P.В (2016) Hypsometric Map of the Lunar Polar Areas, Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK).

Download options: PDF (36.8 MB), English translation reduced-size version PNG (7.5 MB)

USGS Scientific Investigations Map, South Pole Image Map

Image map of the south polar region based on data provided by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Wide Angle Camera (WAC). This view of the south polar region is a portion of a larger image map of the entire Moon. The map was produced by the USGS for NASA. We refer users to the original USGS Scientific Investigations Map, number 3316, for details needed for complete and proper use of the map. For users wanting to study the historical evolution of lunar maps, we refer them to the LPI Lunar Map Catalog.

Source: Image Map of the Moon by T. M. Hare, R. K. Hayward, J. S. Blue, and B. A. Archinal, Scientific Investigations Map 3316, Sheet 1 of 2, United States Geological Survey, 2015.

USGS Scientific Investigations Map, South Pole Topographic Map

Topographic map of the south polar region based on Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data. This view of the south polar region is a portion of a larger map of the entire Moon. The map was produced by the USGS for NASA. We refer users to the original USGS Scientific Investigations Map, number 3316, for details needed for complete and proper use of the map. For users wanting to study the historical evolution of lunar maps, we refer them to the LPI Lunar Map Catalog.

Source: Topographic Map of the Moon by T. M. Hare, R. K. Hayward, J. S. Blue, and B. A. Archinal, Scientific Investigations Map 3316, Sheet 2 of 2, United States Geological Survey, 2015.

Select Lunar Polar Images

Clementine

Lunar Polar Composite Images

These unpresuming-looking polar composite images, taken of the poles over the course of a lunar day, show the impact-cratered polar regions host permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) and some highly-illuminated topographic ridges. The south polar composite provides a glimpse of Shackleton Crater, which dominates the topography in the immediate vicinity of the lunar south pole. These Clementine views sparked new research and additional spacecraft observations of the polar regions.

Source: NASA Clementine Mission/LPI.

Clementine Mosaic of South Pole

Mosaic of about 650 Clementine images of the south pole of the Moon, from 80В°S to the pole (center). The nearside of the Moon is the top half of the image; the bottom half is the farside. The dark region near the pole indicates an old depression, inside the rim crest of the South Pole-Aitken Basin (slide #25). Large parts of this area (about 15,000 km 2 ) are permanently shadowed, and bistatic radar results from Clementine indicate that they could contain deposits of water ice.

Monthly Views of the South Pole

The spin axis of the Moon is nearly vertical (inclined 1.6В°) to the ecliptic plane (the plane of its orbit around the Sun), in marked contrast to the Earth (axis inclination 23.5В°). However, even this small inclination means that the hemispheres of the Moon experience “seasons,” as the pole tracks toward and away from the Sun. Clementine started its lunar mapping in the dead of southern “winter” (axis away from the Sun), but by the second month of mapping, the axis had begun to point closer in that direction. These two mosaics show the difference in lighting conditions between the first month of mapping (left, maximum winter) and the second month’s coverage (right, toward the “solstice”). Careful examination of the two mosaics reveals some slight shadow changes; note in particular the shadows that cover the floors of the craters Amundsen and Scott (large central peak crater at about 3 o’clock and the crater just above it). However, the large region of permanent shadow near the center of the mosaics discovered by Clementine remains virtually unchanged in the two mosaics.

Clementine South Pole Mosaic

Mosaic of the lunar south polar region created from approximately 1500 images captured by an ultraviolet/visible camera on the Clementine spacecraft.В This mosaic was created by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and is also available from NASA JPL as image number PIA00001.В

Source: В USGS and NASA JPL Photojournal.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Perspective View of Schrodinger Basin and South Pole (1)

Orbital perspective of the lunar south pole as viewed looking from the north and over the lunar farside surface. The south polar region is a heavily cratered terrain, with dramatic topography, rather than the relatively flat lava flow surface that characterized the Apollo 11 landing site. The south pole, at the top of the image, is on the rim of the 21-km-diameter Shackleton Crater, which is not easily discerned from shadows in this oblique perspective.

Source: NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.

Perspective View of Schrodinger Basin and South Pole (2)

Orbital perspective of the lunar south pole and the

32- km-diameter Schrödinger Basin on the lunar farside. The Schrödinger Basin features a 1- to 2.5-km-high peak ring. It hosts a pyroclastic vent that may have been the largest indigenous source of volatiles in the south polar region. The basin also contains a small lava field, which is the closest intact lava field to the south pole. Studies have shown the Schrödinger Basin is a science-rich landing site for both robotic and human missions. Moreover, there are several in situ resource utilization (ISRU) targets within the basin.

Source: NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.

Gravity Field of Schrodinger Basin and South Pole

The gravity field over the SchrГ¶dinger Basin and south polar region is shown on a terrain image produced with LRO laser altimeter (LOLA) topography and LRO camera (LROC) imagery. This gravity map was generated by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission and is presented here in a free-air gravity form. The color-coded map presents mass excesses in red and mass deficits in blue. Earth can be seen above and beyond the limb of the Moon. Additional details of the gravity field over the south pole are available in Goossens et al., (2014) Geophysical Research Letters 41, 3367–3374.

Source: NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.

View of South Pole-Aitken Basin and South Pole

The south pole occurs at the margin of the immense, approximately 2500-km-diameter South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin. The large basin is so named because it is bounded by the south pole and the Aitken crater. Some of the mountains (or massifs) in the vicinity of the south pole may be large blocks of the lunar crust that were displaced by the SPA basin-forming impact event. Estimates of the age of the SPA basin are near 4.3 billion years, but the age needs to be measured with SPA samples. Determining the age of the SPA Basin is a high-priority scientific objective.

Source: LPI (annotated LROC WAC image produced by NASA/GSFC/ASU)

Lunar Polar Movies

One Month of Polar Illumination at the South Pole

The movie shows the illumination of the south polar region of the Moon over the course of one month (one lunar day). The Moon’s spin axis is nearly perpendicular to its plane of orbit around the Sun. As a result, an observer in the polar area always sees the Sun just slightly above or below the horizon. Irregularities such as mountain peaks or crater floors may be in either permanent sunlight or permanent darkness. This movie was made to search for areas of both types. Permanently lit areas could provide a landed spacecraft with solar power to survive the long (14 Earth day) lunar night. Permanent dark areas could contain cometary ice deposits, a valuable resource for use on the Moon. The south sole is located near the rim crest of the circular crater at center at about the 10 o’clock position. As you watch the illumination move 360° around the pole, you will note several areas that seem to be permanently dark; these regions may contain ice. A few very small areas appear to be permanently, or nearly so, illuminated.

Source: NASA Clementine Mission/LPI.

Lunar Polar Illustrations

Cross-section of Shackleton Crater

Shackleton Crater at the lunar south pole is often described as a future outpost site for lunar exploration activities. A permanent station at that location might benefit from sunlight that is available >50% of the time, which will help provide power for outpost activities. On the other hand, the topography is dramatic at the lunar south pole. Shackleton Crater dwarfs the Grand Canyon. Shackleton Crater is 4.2 km deep, which is more than 3 times deeper than the Grand Canyon. Access to the crater floor will be difficult from an outpost on the crater rim. Also, traverses to other locations within the South Pole-Aitken Basin will often need to circumnavigate the crater. Not all of the features at the lunar south pole are depressions. Malapert Peak, for example, rises to a summit 4 to 5 km above the mean surface elevation. Explorers will likely be transfixed by the dichotomy and extraordinary beauty of such dramatic features.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE

Scale of Shackleton Crater

Shackleton Crater at the lunar south pole is a simple, bowl-shaped crater, similar to Meteor Crater on Earth, but nearly 20 times larger in diameter. The 21-km-diameter Shackleton Crater is comparable in size to a city, shown here in comparison to the city of Houston, home of the NASA Johnson Space Center. The rim of the crater is uplifted relative to adjacent terrain and covered in impact ejected debris. The rim of the crater provides a lofty ridge around the 4.2-km-deep Shackleton Crater, whose floor is permanently shaded from sunlight. The lunar south pole is located on the rim of Shackleton Crater.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE

Permanently Shadowed Region

As the Sun moves along the horizon in a lunar polar region, it can partially illuminate some surfaces (yellow) like the walls of a crater. Even though all of the walls of the crater may be illuminated as the Sun moves across the sky (panels from left to right), a portion of the crater floor may remain in shadow (red). That type of area is called a permanently shadowed region (PSR). [From J. Barnes, R. French, J. Garber, W. Poole, P. Holly Smith, and Y. Tian (2012) Science concept 2: The structure and composition of the lunar interior provide fundamental information on the evolution of a differentiated planetary body. In A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (D.A. Kring and D.D. Durda, eds.) pp. 47–131], LPI Contribution No. 1694, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE

Sweeping Terminator at Lunar Poles

The Sun does not pass overhead on an arc from east to west at the lunar poles. Rather, the Sun hovers near the horizon and circles the poles. For that reason, the terminator – which is the boundary between daylight and nighttime conditions – rotates around the poles. Because the Sun is near the horizon and because the topography of the south pole (seen here) is so dramatic, shadows are cast that produce an irregular terminator.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE (David A. Kring)

Temperatures on the lunar surface can be quite cold, hovering only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero (0 Kelvin or 0 K). For example, a low temperature of 23 K has been measured by the DIVINER instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. At those temperatures many volatile elements are frozen and would be trapped on the surface in the form of ice. If temperatures were to rise slightly, some of those materials could begin to sublimate or be converted directly to a gas. Of the four substances shown (water, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and argon), water would freeze first when temperatures fall and the last to sublimate when temperatures rise. [From J. Barnes, R. French, J. Garber, W. Poole, P. Holly Smith, and Y. Tian (2012) Science concept 2: The structure and composition of the lunar interior provide fundamental information on the evolution of a differentiated planetary body. In A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (D.A. Kring and D.D. Durda, eds.) pp. 47–131], LPI Contribution No. 1694, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE

Temperature Chart of Solar System Objects and the Lunar South Pole

Clementine observations suggest the floors and walls of some impact craters near the north and south poles of the Moon may be permanently shadowed. If so, temperatures in those shadowed regions will be very low, with calculated estimates ranging from 40 to 110 K. Volatile elements, like hydrogen, may accumulate at those cold temperatures and thus may be a resource for future explorers. To illustrate those low temperatures, this graphic compares temperatures in permanently shadowed lunar craters with temperatures associated with a variety of icy objects in the solar system. Temperatures are, for example, much colder than average surface temperatures of outer solar system moons Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. They are similar to those of the icy rings of Saturn or the surfaces of comets far from the Sun.

Illustration Credit: UA/David A. Kring

A schematic diagram illustrating the potential distribution of volatile components, like water ice, in the near-surface rocks of the Moon. Volatile elements can be absorbed onto grains at the surface of the lunar regolith on scales of nanometers. They can also be trapped within solidified volcanic and impact melt samples on scales of micrometers to millimeters. Volatile elements may also exist as deposits within impact craters or in discrete subsurface horizons, both of which may occur on scales of meters to kilometers. The potentially patchy distribution of volatile components like water ice make interpretation from orbit difficult and require in situ analyses by robotic landers/rovers and/or humans on the lunar surface.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE

Lunar Highland Regolith Sample 63507,13

Apollo sample 63507 (split ,13) is representative of highland regolith breccias. It is feldspathic, submature, and friable, with an estimated porosity of 30% and an estimated bulk density of 2 g/cm 3 . Although regolith breccias at the lunar poles and in the highlands of the lunar farside have not yet been collected, this sample can be used as a tentative proxy for them. A 500-Вµm scale bar is shown in the lower right corner. The field of view is 3 mm wide.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE

Water in Lunar Highland Regolith

The potential distribution of water in lunar highland regolith near the lunar south pole. Estimates for the mass of water in the regolith hit by the LCROSS impactor are

5 weight percent [e.g., Colaprete et al. (2010), Science 330, pp. 463–468]. That value corresponds to

10 volume percent in a highland regolith breccia. If that water filled large pore spaces in the regolith, it could look like the left panel, where the water is highlighted in blue. To better see the potential distribution of water ice, the pore-filled regions are shown in the right panel without the regolith breccia. Future missions to the lunar surface are needed to determine if this is the true distribution of water ice. For illustration purposes, the Apollo 16 regolith sample 63507,13 was used as a proxy for highland regolith breccias near the lunar south pole. A 500-Вµm scale bar is shown in the lower right corner. The field of view is 3 mm wide.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE (Amy L. Fagan and David A. Kring)

Water in Lunar Highland Regolith

The potential distribution of water in lunar highland regolith near the lunar south pole. Estimates for the mass of water in the regolith hit by the LCROSS impactor are

5 weight percent [e.g., Colaprete et al. (2010) Science 330, pp. 463–468]. That value corresponds to

10 volume percent in a highland regolith breccia. If that water was distributed along grain boundaries within the regolith, it could look like the left panel, where the water is highlighted in blue. To better see the potential distribution of water ice, the water along grain boundaries is shown in the right panel without the regolith breccia. To further illustrate that distribution, a magnified view of a small region is shown as an inset. The thin distribution of water around the margins of grains is clearly evident in the inset. For illustration purposes, the Apollo 16 regolith sample 63507,13 was used as a proxy for highland regolith breccias near the lunar south pole. A 500-Вµm scale bar is shown in the lower right corner. The field of view is 3 mm wide. A complementary illustration showing the concentration of water in bigger pore spaces within a breccia is also available in our classroom illustration collection.

Illustration Credit: LPI/CLSE (Amy L. Fagan and David A. Kring)

Geographic Distribution of Apollo Sample Sites v1

The diversity of sample sites grew as the Apollo program evolved, but astronauts were still limited to a very small near-equatorial region of the Moon. The area represented by the Apollo sample sites is only 2.7% of the lunar surface [Warren and Kallemeyn (1991) Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 55, p. 3123]. This may not be readily apparent in a nearside view of the Moon (far left). In this projection, the vast surface areas as one moves toward the poles are misleadingly shortened. If one looks instead at the north and south poles of the Moon (center), the Apollo sites are clustered in a small region near the equator. In this projection, it is clear that the Apollo missions did not sample polar material. Moreover, the Apollo missions did not sample any material from the lunar farside (far right). Most of the Moon remains unexplored and is a rich target for discovery. The distribution of sample sites is mapped on projections of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera mosaics.

Illustration credit: LPI/CLSE (Debra Hurwitz)

Geographic Distribution of Apollo Sample Sites v2

The diversity of sample sites grew as the Apollo program evolved, but astronauts were still limited to a very small near-equatorial region of the Moon. The area represented by the Apollo sample sites is only 2.7% of the lunar surface [Warren and Kallemeyn (1991) Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 55, p. 3123]. This may not be readily apparent in a nearside view of the Moon (far left). In this projection, the vast surface areas as one moves towards the poles are misleadingly shortened. If one looks instead at the north and south poles of the Moon (center), the Apollo sites are clustered in a small region near the equator. In this projection, it is clear that the Apollo missions did not sample polar material. Moreover, the Apollo missions did not sample any material from the lunar farside (far right). Most of the Moon remains unexplored and is a rich target for discovery. The distribution of sample sites is mapped on projections of Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter topography data overlain on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera mosaics.

Illustration credit: LPI/CLSE (Debra Hurwitz)

Scale of Lunar South Polar Mountains – v1

The south pole occurs in the midst of several mountains, called massifs on the Moon. Those massifs may have been created by the impact event that produced the 2,500 km diameter South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest and oldest impact basin on the Moon. One of those massifs is Malapert massif. Human missions to Malapert massif have been proposed. Traverses from the south pole to Malapert massif and vice versa have also been proposed. The topography generated by those massifs and juxtaposing impact craters is dramatic. Here that topography is illustrated with a transect across the Malapert massif and the adjacent Haworth crater. The change in elevation exceeds 8 km (left panel), a value very close to elevation of Earth’s Mt. Everest above sea level (right panel).

Illustration credit: LPI/CLSE

Scale of Lunar South Polar Mountains – v2

The south pole occurs in the midst of several mountains, called massifs on the Moon. Those massifs may have been created by the impact event that produced the 2,500 km diameter South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest and oldest impact basin on the Moon. One of those massifs is Leibnitz β (Beta). A reconnaissance of the base of Leibnitz β was examined during the Constellation program, with a 14-day-long traverse beginning at Malapert massif. The summit of Leibnitz β is the highest elevation in the region. To illustrate the topography generated by that massif, a transect across the summit and the adjacent Shoemaker crater is shown. The change in elevation exceeds 10 km (left panel) and the elevation of Earth’s Mt. Everest above sea level (right panel).

Dramatic effect of coronavirus lockdowns seen from space, Live Science

Dramatic effect of coronavirus lockdowns seen from space

The air above China cleaned up faster than ever before in living memory.

The new coronavirus’ impact on China is so stark that it can be seen from space — as a dramatic drop in air pollution, according to data from U.S. and European satellites.

Orbital instruments designed to monitor air quality picked up a substantial drop in concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution since January. NO2 is a harmful substance emitted by gas vehicles, power plants and other machines that burn fossil fuels. The decline is likely related to an economic slowdown and travel restrictions in China since the virus became widespread, according to a statement from NASA Earth Observatory.

“This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in the statement.

A NASA Earth Observatory image, visible at the top of this article, shows an astonishing decline in NO2 between January and the start of February.

Liu said that there have been other incidents that led to measurable NO2 decreases, including the 2008 economic recession. But none have been so intense or happened so quickly. She also noted that there’s often a noticeable drop-off around this time as China celebrates the Lunar New Year, but that it’s never before been so stark.

“This year, the reduction rate is more significant than in past years and it has lasted longer,” she said. “I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimize spread of the virus.”

The Chinese government has closed business and restricted travel between cities. Wuhan, the city where the outbreak began, has been the subject of especially harsh measures. The impact of those measures is reflected in local pollution levels; a map of the city shows an astonishing drop in NO2 levels between Jan. 1 and Feb. 25.

Another map shows the sharp decline in emissions over Wuhan, the city that was the epicenter of the viral outbreak. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

As the virus continues to spread worldwide and governments continue to take measures to fight it, such second-order impacts could show up around the globe.

With impressive cutaway illustrations that show how things function, and mindblowing photography of the world’s most inspiring spectacles, How It Works represents the pinnacle of engaging, factual fun for a mainstream audience keen to keep up with the latest tech and the most impressive phenomena on the planet and beyond. Written and presented in a style that makes even the most complex subjects interesting and easy to understand, How It Works is enjoyed by readers of all ages.
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Jupiter Global Map (2019)

Goddard space flight center map

Hubble’s Global View of Jupiter

This Hubble Space Telescope image highlights the distinct bands of roiling clouds that are characteristic of Jupiter’s atmosphere. The view represents a stretched-out map of the entire planet.

Several cloud bands, which are parallel to the equator (currently orange in hue), are confined by jet streams that blow in opposite directions at different latitudes.

A series of red oval-shaped cyclones is embedded in the red, swirling band of clouds above the equator. Just above this cloud band are white, oval-shaped wind systems called anticyclones. While cyclones are low-pressure areas, anticyclones are high-pressure regions, whose winds blow in the opposite direction from winds in cyclones. Another characteristic string of white oval-shaped anticyclones, seen for decades, appears along one latitude band in the planet’s southern hemisphere.

Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is the orange-colored oval on the left side of the image. This giant anticyclone is rotating counterclockwise and has a diameter slightly larger than the entire Earth’s. It appears more orange than red in this image, with a small core of deep-orange color at the center. Clouds moving toward the giant storm from right to left are darker than in recent Hubble observations. The clouds to the south, which are moving toward the Great Red Spot from west to east, are whiter than in past studies. The Great Red Spot has been decreasing in size since the 1800s.

A surprise is the color of Red Spot Jr., a storm smaller than the Great Red Spot, which has faded from red to white over the past couple of years. Red Spot Jr. appears near the center of the map, at a more southerly latitude than its legendary big cousin. Telescopes originally identified Red Spot Jr. as a white, oval-shaped storm, created when three white ovals merged about 20 years ago. Like a chameleon, it changed its color, turning red in observations made in 2005. Now, it has changed back to its original color.

Researchers cannot yet explain why Red Spot Jr. turned white again, or even why it turned red in the first place. Astronomers suggest the red color is caused by gases in Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere interacting with the Sun’s ultraviolet light. One idea for the white color is that red dust permeates the atmosphere. Sometimes ice condenses on the dust particles, giving them a frosty appearance and subduing the brighter colors. Precise color measurements using Hubble data suggest that these complex processes may operate differently in the Great Red Spot and Red Spot Jr.

Researchers combined several Hubble exposures to create this flat map, which excludes the polar regions (above 80 degrees latitude). The Hubble image is part of yearly maps of the entire planet taken as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program, or OPAL. The program provides yearly Hubble global views of the outer planets to look for changes in their storms, winds, and clouds.