NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION STUDIO NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION STUDIO
Moon's South Pole topography. Animation showing Shackleton Crater at the Moon's South Pole, followed by a view of the much larger South Pole-Aitken Basin. The animation starts with a view of Shackleton Crater (21 kilometres in diameter) colour-coded for elevation using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft (launched 2009), then switching to a natural-colour view. There is also a scale bar at lower right. In the LRO views, surface height is colour-coded, with white areas being the highest elevation, through red, yellow, green and blue, with purple being the lowest elevation. This is followed by an LRO view of the South Pole-Aitken Basin (purple) with a new scale bar at lower right. A white circle shows the location of this large impact basin (around 2500 kilometres in diameter). The South Pole is at the southern end of this impact basin (at bottom in the final frame). Water ice is thought to exist in these deep craters near the Moon's South Pole.
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