China creating new map of Moon

Beijing: Chinese scientists are drawing a 1:2.5 million scale geological map of the Moon, a media report said on Thursday.

Ouyang Ziyuan, first chief scientist of China’s lunar exploration programme, said five universities and research institutes have set standards for digital mapping and drawing of the Moon’s geological structure.

A sketch version of the map, 4.36 metres by 2.2 metres, would be finished by 2018, and released by 2020, Xinhua news agency reported.

The map would provide information on geology, structure and rock types and would reflect the timeline of the Moon’s evolution.

Chen Shengbo, a geologist with Jilin University in China, and his team are responsible for drawing the lunar structure outline, which was just one part of the work.

He said the map would clearly show lunar geography, such as geographic fractures and the size, appearance, and the structure of craters.

Chen said mapping depends on data and images sent by circumlunar satellites from home and abroad.

Lunar map making was not like drawing a map of the Earth, where scientists can go to the scene in person if they were not sure of their information.

China’s satellites have captured images of the Moon, which contribute to the precision of lunar maps.