China releases world's first high-definition lunar geographic atlas-Xinhua

China on Sunday released a compilation of the World Moon Geological Atlas at a scale of 1:2.5 million, the world's first complete high-definition lunar geological atlas, which provides basic map data for future lunar research and exploration. This page is a geographic map of the Moon. (Handbook via Chinese Academy of Sciences/Xinhua)

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) — China on Sunday released a global lunar geographic atlas set at 1:2.5 million scale, the world's first complete high-definition lunar geographic atlas, which provides basic map data. Future lunar research and exploration.

Available in both Chinese and English, this geological atlas collection includes the map quadrangles of the Lunar Planet Geological Atlas and the Moon's Geological Atlas according to the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

„The geological atlas of the Moon is very important for studying the evolution of the Moon, choosing a site for a future lunar research station, and exploiting lunar resources. It helps us better understand Earth and other planets in the Solar System, such as Mars,” said Ouyang Ziyuan, a CAS academic and well-known lunar scientist. .

„Over the past decades the world has seen significant progress in the field of lunar exploration and scientific research, which has greatly improved our understanding of the Moon. However, lunar geological maps published during the Apollo era have not been half changed. Centuries have continued to be used for lunar geological studies, and those old maps are the basis of future scientific research and lunar exploration. cannot meet the requirements,” said Liu Jianzhong, a senior researcher at the Institute of Geochemistry. of CAS.

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China on Sunday released a compilation of the World Moon Geological Atlas at a scale of 1:2.5 million, the world's first complete high-definition lunar geological atlas, which provides basic map data for future lunar research and exploration. This page is a tectonic map of the Moon. (Handbook via Chinese Academy of Sciences/Xinhua)

Since 2012, Ouyang Ziyuan and Liu Jianzhong have led a team of scientists and cartographers from related research institutes in compiling this atlas.

With a detailed and systematic understanding of the moon's origin and evolution, the team compiled the atlas based on scientific survey data obtained from China's Chang'e Lunar Exploration Project and other research results from Chinese and international expeditions, Liu said.

This atlas collection not only provides basic data and scientific references for the development and implementation of scientific goals in China's lunar exploration program, but also fills a gap in China's collection of geological maps of the Moon and planets. The evolution of the moon and the solar system, Liu said.

Based on the perspective of lunar dynamic evolution, Chinese researchers established a creatively updated lunar geological time scale, objectively depicting the lunar geological evolution and clearly showing the characteristics of lunar tectonic and magmatic evolution.

A total of 12,341 impact craters, 81 impact basins, 17 types of reliefs and 14 types of structures are mapped in the atlas.

China on Sunday released a compilation of the World Moon Geological Atlas at a scale of 1:2.5 million, the world's first complete high-definition lunar geological atlas, which provides basic map data for future lunar research and exploration. This page is a lithologic map of the Moon. (Handbook via Chinese Academy of Sciences/Xinhua)

The atlas set is integrated into the Digital Lunar Cloud Platform built by Chinese scientists and will help with lunar science research, science education and landing site selection, lunar resource exploration and route planning for China's future lunar exploration projects, Liu said.

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China's upcoming Chang'e-6 mission is expected to collect samples from the Apollo basin at the far south pole-Aitken basin of the moon, meaning that material ejected from the ancient landscape could be collected in the process, he noted. „Our map can provide macroscopic geological background to improve the scope and efficiency of model research,” Liu explained.

China on Sunday released a compilation of the World Moon Geological Atlas at a scale of 1:2.5 million, the world's first complete high-definition lunar geological atlas, which provides basic map data for future lunar research and exploration. This photo shows a compilation of a geographic atlas of the lunar planet. (Handbook via Chinese Academy of Sciences/Xinhua)

Compiling this map is an enormous task that requires the organization and collaboration of many well-versed researchers over many years to reach a consistent and complete result, commented Gregory Michael, a senior scientist at the Free University of Berlin. Germany.

„In particular, this map is the first in the world to use all data from the post-Apollo era. It builds on the achievements of the international community in the past decades and China's own successful Chang'e. It will be a starting point for every new question of lunar geography, and for researchers studying all kinds of lunar processes. It will be a primary source,” Michael added.

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