Color views of the Moon have revealed substantial distributions of water on the lunar surface in the form of molecules trapped in minerals. This discovery has fundamentally changed the prevailing view of the Moon as a sterile object. The USGS is supporting further analyses of lunar water by producing a high-precision cartographic mosaic from data collected by the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument. These products include geodetically controlled, near-global maps of the lunar surface in visible to near-infrared wavelengths. The improved mosaic eliminates spatial offsets of up to 4 km and supports more detailed mapping of the distribution of water deposits on the surface of the Moon.
Mosaic of M3 hyperspectral images of Copernicus Crater on the Moon.