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 zooming in on the lunar South Pole, starting with topographic colour-coding and circles of latitude and lines of longitude (white) and ending with a natural-colour view with sunlight (left) and shadows (right). The initial view shows a scale bar at lower right, and the large Schrodinger Crater at upper right. The colour-coding shows the surface topography, using data gathered by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft in orbit around the Moon. Surface height is colour-coded, with white areas being the highest elevation, through red, yellow, green and blue, with purple being the lowest elevation. The LRO was launched on 18th June 2009. Water ice is thought to exist in craters at the Moon's South Pole, sheltered from the sunlight by shadows cast by the crater walls. The crater just to the right of the South Pole in this final frame is Shackleton Crater, 21 kilometres in diameter. The two craters below it are de Gerlache Crater (left) and Sverdrup Crater (right).
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