Bottom of the Moon

Bottom of the Moon

. The laser altimeter on Clementine provided a detailed topographic map of the South Pole of the Moon for the first time, revealing the full extent of the South Pole - Aitken basin (center). Colors indicate relative elevation, with orage being high and blue being low. The basin is about 2.6 million meters and over 12 thousand meters deep. It is the biggest, deepest impact feature known in the solar system, and dominates the relief of the far side of the Moon. Water ice might be preserved in the permanently shadowed regions at the Moon's south pole. (Courtesy of Paul D. Spudis, Lunar and Planetary Institute.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University