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Topo Map of the Moon by U.S. Geological Survey

Topo Map of the Moon, 2013

U.S. Geological Survey

A delicate overlay, like just-broken soap bubbles, forms a film over an eggshell-blue surface. At lower left, a spiral radiates outward around one of the bubbles, giving way to a crusted section in raised relief. This beautiful, watery composition is in fact a shaded relief map of our Moon, created from billions of measurements gathered by orbiting spacecraft. The different colors on this map represent elevation changes on the Moon — deeper blue indicates lower elevation, while white denotes higher altitudes.

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United States Geological Survey