• Recently, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in partnership with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)and the Lunar Planetary Institute has released a new comprehensive map of the Moon, called the ‘Unified Geologic Map of the Moon’.
  • The new map showcases the Moon in a 1:50,00,000-scale size, and is claimed to come handy to researchers, scientists, students and the general public.
  • The map has been created with the help of the information gathered from six Apollo-era regional maps.
  • It also uses data from recently held satellite missions to the Moon.

Significance of this New Map

  • This new map will serve as the “definitive blueprint of the Moon’s surface geology for future human missions.”
  • It will come handy to understand the surface of the Moon.
  • The map will also help researchers learn the history behind the formations located on the Moon’s surface.
  • Earlier, a leftover piece of a spacecraft flying (of Chang’e 5-T1 – a lunar mission of China) through space reportedly hit the surface of the moon creating a new crater that may be around 65 feet wide (lunar crater)
  • The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite and the fifth largest moon in the solar system.
  • The Moon’s presence helps stabilize our planet’s wobble and moderate our climate.
  • The Moon’s distance from Earth is about 240,000 miles.
  • The Moon has a very thin atmosphere called an exosphere.

Phases of the Moon:

The Moon displays four main phases: new, first quarter, full, and last quarter.

New Moon: It occurs when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun, and thus the side of the Moon that is in shadow faces Earth.

Full Moon: It occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, and thus the side of the Moon that is illuminated faces Earth.

First and Last Quarter: In this phase, half the Moon appears illuminated, occurring when the Moon is at a right angle with respect to the Sun when viewed from Earth. (Earth, as seen from the Moon, shows the same phases in opposite order—e.g., Earth is full when the Moon is new).


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