Topography of entire lunar surface
Updated : 2009.02.10
Observation date : 2008.01.07-20

The Laser Altimeter (LALT) aboard KAGUYA captured data on the entire lunar surface height. The Lunar topographical map was produced by the Geographical Survey Institute (GSI) from the LALT product of the National Astronomical Observatory (NAOJ).

The LALT is able to obtain a range of data on a global scale along the satellite's trajectory including the high latitude region above 75 degrees that has never been measured by an altimeter. The number of measurement points as of March, 2008 is about 6 million and it is more than 10 times larger than the number for the ULCN 2005 model. This topography was created with the data obtained in 2 weeks (from Jan. 7, 2008 to Jan. 20, 2008; 1,127,392 points). The continuous range data of the LALT will enable us for the first time in the world to construct an accurate and precise global topographic map of the Moon.

The LALT's topography is important for the investigation of the internal lunar structure through analysis of the gravity/topography data of the moon (new accurate lunar gravity data, including from the far-side, will be obtained from the RSAT/VRAD mission of the KAGUYA.).

* The ULCN 2005 (Unified Lunar Control Network 2005) is a lunar control point network that precisely measured 272,931 pieces of data produced by the USGS using existing lunar imagery or data from the Clementine and other observations.