Exploring the Moon's Albedo Using PDS Map-A-Planet DataAccess Moon Albedo Data from USGS Map a Planet
This data is from the Clementine Lunar Mission. Data is available as images and is searchable by latitude and longitude. Users can adjust the image scale. Students will also make use of mineral maps from The Planetary Science Research Discoveries organization.
Use and Relevance
To determine how a planetary body formed and evolved, we must determine the chemical compositions of distinctive geologic regions on it. It is never possible to obtain enough samples of a planet to do this job thoroughly, so planetary scientists have searched for ways of determining chemical compositions from orbit, which would allow chemical mapping of the entire surface.
The Clementine Spacecraft, which was launched in 1994, set out to undertake such chemical mapping. It used eleven different wavelenghts to map the Moon for 70 days from polar orbit. This data can be used to identify minerals on the moon and to assess the physical features of the landing site and other areas of scientific interest. For example, during its mission, Clementine found evidence of ice in craters near the polar regions.
Use in Teaching
- Understanding geologic relationships
- Identifying geologic formations
- Basic geologic processes
- Identification of lunar features
- Relationship between aerial and/or remote perspective and up-close view
- Mapping skills
- Formulating hypotheses
- Analyzing data
- Using science as an argument
- Making inferences and drawing conclusions from maps
- Interpreting information obtained from satellite-produced images
- Using maps to interpret spatial relationships between objects
- Using technology to make measurements
- Interpreting lunar mineral maps in order to select a mineral-rich landing site.
- Determining how much of a mineral concentration is needed to be economically worthwhile.
- Interpreting remote-sensing images.
- Measurements using ImageJ.
- Data analysis using Excel.
Exploring the Data
Data Type and Presentation
The data is presented as jpegs. The jpeg images can be retrieved by latitude and longitude.
Accessing the Data
Go to the Moon Albedo Advanced Version and type in the latitude and longitude of the area of interest. Select a scale of about .1km/pixel. Click submit.
Manipulating Data and Creating Visualizations
Students can use ImageJ to make linear measurements, make enhancements, do area measurements, and construct overlays from the mineral maps.
Tools for Data Manipulation
The Clementine site contains its own visualization tool that students can use to explore. Users can download ImageJ for free.
About the Data
Data was collected through remote sensing via satellite and transmitted by radio signal. Post-processing involved stretching, scaling, and mosaicing.
Limitations and Sources of Error
There is not a complete spectrum of the surface. There are resolution limits. As with all remote sensing data, students are seeing only the outermost layer (i.e. micrometeorites alter the surface chemically and mechanically).
References and Resources
Scientific References that Use this Dataset
Other Related Scientific References
- Large overview image of the moon
- kmz files of a moon overlay and moon placemarkers for use in GoogleEarth
- Map of Luna, Apollo, and Surveyor moon landing sites
- [link http://pdsmaps.wr.usgs.gov/explorer-bin/mapmars4.cgi?DATA_SET_NAME=lunar_lidar&VERSION=ADVANCED&RESAMP_METHOD=NEAREST_NEIGHBOR&BANDS=1&PIXEL_TYPE=BIT8&PROJECTION=SINUSOIDAL&STRETCH=NONE&GRIDLINE_FREQUENCY=none&SCALE=pixels% 2Fdegree&RESOLUTION=64&LATBOX=4&LONBOX=4&LAT=0&LON=0 'PDS Mapping Result']
- USGS Astrogeology Documentation
- Learning from Apollo (PDF) is Unit Two of NASA's Exploring the Moon: A Teacher's Guide with Activities
- PDS Imaging Node; Online Data Volumes - Clementine
- Query results for NASA PDS data sets
- This figure shows the gravity signature of Mare Orientale and its surroundings from the Goddard Lunar Module-1 (GLM-1).
- This collection is an early sampling of the 1.8 million images acquired by the Clementine spacecraft.
- The Clementine Lunar Image Browser 1.5 is an interface that allows you to view an image of the moon, centered on whatever point you indicate by clicking on an image of the moon that was derived from data accumulated by the Clementine satellite.
- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Newsroom
- An Educational NASA Website on Impact Cratering Experiments
- University of Arizona website about Terrestrial Impact Craters and their Environmental Effects
- Space Center Houston's Space Exploration Educators Conference 2006 Brochure (PDF)
Other related Education Resources
- The Astronomy Research-Based Science Education site is a gateway to astronomy research projects and the accompanying data.
- Project ASTRO provides hands-on, inquiry-based activities that put students in the position of acting like scientists - as they come to understand more about the universe (and science in general).
- NASA maintains an education section with activities of relevance to students and teachers.
- The NASA Student Observation Network provides learning experiences that use real scientific data in the classroom, such as Tracking a Solar Storm. Tutorials are provided that help the student to understand the scientific data, with step-by-step guides to using the data.
- Hands-On Universe (HOU) is an educational program that enables students to investigate the Universe while applying tools and concepts from science, math, and technology. Using the Internet, HOU participants around the world request observations from an automated telescope, download images from a large image archive, and analyze them with the aid of user-friendly image processing software.
- Colorful Hubble Space Telescope images are linked to real scientific data for use in classroom explorations of the Universe.
- Project CLEA offers laboratory exercises that illustrate modern astronomical techniques using digital data and color images.
- Project Lite provides software, curriculum, and materials for exploring the properties of light through classroom science experiments, including visual effects and illusions.
- NASA Sun-Earth Day delivers educational content, webcasts, other multi-media, and print resources for use by school and informal educators each year at the time of the annual Sun-Earth Day event.
- The INSPIRE Project provides kits to students that allow them to gather scientific data, to conduct scientific research, and to explore radio frequency outbursts in the Earth's ionosphere.