The South Pole of the Moon

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 3, 2008 in Science |

Shown above is a simulation that shows the amount of sunlight falling on the Moon’s south polar region over the course of one (solar) day:

Moon’s south pole revealed in ‘dramatic’ new 3D map

“Earth-based radar observations have produced a detailed 3D map of the Moon’s south polar region, revealing a dramatic and rugged landscape. The map will help NASA assess the site’s potential for setting up a base. NASA plans to return humans to the Moon by 2020 and wants to eventually set up a permanent base there. The Moon’s poles are considered particularly good locations for a base.

That’s because frozen water may be present in frigid, permanently shadowed craters at the poles, providing a crucial resource for astronauts. At the same time, some terrain at the poles may be permanently illuminated, providing prime spots to set up solar power stations.”

…and here is an animation showing a future moon landing on the rim of Shackleton Crater:

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