NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team released earlier this week the highest resolution map of the moon's topography ever. The above image shows the moon's far side. One pixel on the map represents an area about the size of two football fields. Despite the moon's proximity to Earth, scientific understanding of how its geographic features formed is still limited. The new data will help scientists look into questions such as how the crust formed, the mechanics of its impact craters, and some of the moon's volcanic features.
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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Family and Education sections. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.