South Pole Illumination Map of the Moon

South Pole Illumination Map of the Moon

Multi-temporal illumination map of the lunar south pole, Shackleton crater (19 kilometers diameter, or 12 miles) is in the center, the south pole is located approximately at 9 o'clock on its rim. Mapped area extends from 88°S to 90°S.

The spin axis of the Moon is tilted by only 1.54° (compared to Earth's 23.5°), leaving some areas near the poles in permanent shadow while other nearby regions remain sunlit for the majority of the year. One of the primary objectives of LROC is to unambiguously identify these regions.

  • Catalog Number: NASA-PIA13720
  • Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University
  • For print or commercial use please contact NASA/GSFC/ Arizona State University
  • Large JPEG (640 x 640 pixels)