A high-resolution map of moon rocks. (Photo/Shandong University)
Chinese scientists have created a high-resolution map of moon rocks, providing detailed information about the composition and distribution of lunar surface materials.
Released at a 1:2,500,000 scale, the map of the entire moon is the result of a 10-year study undertaken by researchers from Shandong University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other institutions. It captures the lithologic features of 17 lunar rock types.
China's recent lunar missions, which include orbiting, landing and bringing samples back to Earth, have collected diverse datasets that "provided primary sources for this lithological mapping effort," according to the study findings published in the journal Science Bulletin earlier this week.
The new lunar map can be used for further scientific research, exploration planning, sampling and selection of return sites. It can also provide a reference for mapping other Earth-like planets in the future, the researchers noted.
The paper and digital versions of the map will be published in Chinese and English by China's Geological Publishing House.