China will make full Moon image maps available — in print only

Update: A reader pointed out that China indeed provided a website for Moon probe data: http://moon.bao.ac.cn/. A user account is required and must be pre-aproved. Only Chinese interface is available.

China has long been claiming that all Chinese nationals can have access to Chang’e-1’s data” after its launch in October 2007. In late 2008, China published one symbolic digital lunar map taken from Chang’e-1.

Here is a copy of the highest resolution that I can find: http://images.spaceref.com/news/2008/chinamoonmap.l.jpg from spaceref.com. But so far, I have not found a website where all the images produced by equipments on Chang’e-1 are there. Recently, I see a hope to see them, but not in digital format, rather, in print. China announced that a book titled “Full Moon image maps” (全月球影像图) is in printing and will be available for sale. This is rather disappointing because not only it is not free, but also it is not in digital format. I wonder whether it is really useful to anyone except it shows China’s capabilities.

In the same announcement, the Chinese chief scientist Dr. Ouyang Zhiyuan lists several achievements from Chang’e-1 probe including:

  1. Internationally advanced full-moon image map
  2. The highest accuracy and resolution digital elevation model of the full moon and three-dimensional topographic map the moon
  3. Content distribution of important elements of both the full moon and the local areas
  4. Brightness and temperature distribution data of microwave radiation on the lunar surface

However, he didn’t say whether China will publish this data. At this point, I think all non-Chinese citizens should give up on getting any useful data but maybe put a hope on Chang’e-2 probe which is launched on China’s National Day in a bid to analyze the soil structure on the moon by photographing the lunar surface. An earlier chart shows that China believes it is the final goal of all space powers to get the national resources on the Moon. What China has in mind is of course Helium-3. Interestingly, China has made the Standard translation of lunar sites (doc) available online.

Keep in mind that full moon surface HD images are made available by the United States. In fact, NASA’s LRO has photographed every square inch of the lunar surface. This amount of data is so huge that scientists can not keep up the speed of getting the data. Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintottasks amateur astronomers to help review, measure and classify tens of thousands of moon photos streaming to Earth. He has set up the website MoonZoo.org, where anyone can log on, get trained and become a space explorer.

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One Response to “China will make full Moon image maps available — in print only”

  1. Maybe Chang’e-1 images are indeed online « Paviavio           Says:

    […] I wrote “China will make full Moon image maps available – in print only“, reader pdx […]

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