Astrogeology Science Center


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May 31, 2017

New USGS Maps of Mars Reveal Ancient Oases

Flyover of the southeast Ceti Mensa map. Distinct groups of rock layers, called geologic units, are shaded in different colors, with dark browns representing the oldest rocks and green representing the youngest rocks. All of these rocks formed as wind-blown sand that became trapped in shallow, ephemeral lakes, similar to the wet playas of the desert southwest US. The

May 5, 2016

First Global Topographic Map of Mercury

An animation of the USGS topographic map of Mercury created using images from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft.

DEM Merge of the Moon
February 4, 2015

LRO LOLA and Kaguya Terrain Camera DEM Merge 60N60S 512ppd

The LOLA and Kaguya Teams have created an improved lunar digital elevation model (DEM) covering latitudes within ±60°, at a horizontal resolution of 512 pixels per degree (∼59 m at the equator) and a typical vertical accuracy ∼3 to 4 m. This DEM is constructed from ∼4.5×109 geodetically-accurate topographic heights from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the

Geological map of Mars
July 14, 2014

Geologic Map of Mars

This global geologic map of Mars, which records the distribution of geologic units and landforms on the planet's surface through time, is based on unprecedented variety, quality, and quantity of remotely sensed data acquired since the Viking Orbiters. These data have provided morphologic, topographic, spectral, thermophysical, radar sounding, and other observations for

Valles Marineris on Mars
September 29, 2011

Valles Marineris on Mars

Mosaic of the Valles Marineris hemisphere of Mars projected into point perspective, a view similar to that which one would see from a spacecraft. The distance is 2500 kilometers from the surface of the planet, with the scale being .6km/pixel. The mosaic is composed of 102 Viking Orbiter images of Mars. The center of the scene (lat -8, long 78) shows the entire Valles

Photo of sphere-like grains found on Mars
December 31, 2004

Sphere-like grains found on Mars, nicknamed "Blueberries"

Photo taken by Opportunity of Sphere-like grains nicknamed "Blueberries", due to their shape. Photo is a mosaic of PANCAM and MI instruments.

Image of Ring around Uranus
July 11, 2004

Uranus's Ring

Infrared composite image of Uranus taken by the Keck Telescope. 

Map of Mars made with Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter
March 31, 2003

MGS MOLA Global Colorized Hillshade

This map is based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA; Smith and others, 2001), an instrument on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft (Albee and others, 2001). The image used for the base of this map represents more than 600 million measurements gathered between 1999 and 2001, adjusted for consistency (Neumann and others, 2001, 2003) and converted

Colorized topography (GEDR) over the C3-MIDR mosaic.
June 23, 1993

Magellan Global C3-MDIR Colorized Topographic Mosaic

The original Magellan Compressed Mosaicked Image Data Record (C3-MIDR) archive contains three times compressed mosaics of image swaths (C-BIDRs) at a resolution of 2025 m/pixel. C3-MIDRs consist of mosaics generated by computing 3x3 pixel arithmetic moving averages from the C2-MIDRs. C3-MIDRs, with their 2.025 km pixel widths, are designed to cover the planet at reasonably

NASA Imagery S86-27256 (June, 1986): Artist’s concept of a lunar base
June 1, 1986

NASA Imagery S86-27256 (June, 1986): Artist’s concept of a lunar base

NASA Imagery S86-27256 (June, 1986): Artist’s concept of a lunar base.


Harrison Schmitt posing with the American Flag during the Apollo 17 mission
December 31, 1972

Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt with the American Flag and Earth (Apollo 17)

Harrison H. Schmitt during the Apollo 17 mission.