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NASA spent four years stitching more than 10,000 images to map the north pole of the moon


NASA has released this interactive map of the moon's north pole. It's the largest high-resolution map of our moon ever made.


NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The folks at NASA have stitched together four years of images to create an amazing new interactive map of the moon.

At nearly 867 billion pixels, it's the largest high-resolution lunar map ever made, covering an area equal to more than a fourth of the United States.

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Users can get super up close and personal, too.

Comprised of 10,581 pictures, the mosaic provides enough detail of the moon's north pole that you can see subtle shading on the lunar terrain.

"This unique image is a tremendous resource for scientists and the public alike," said John Keller, LRO project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "It's the latest example of the exciting insights and data products LRO has been providing for nearly five years."

The images were taken over a four-year period by NASA's  Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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Launched in 2009, the orbiter's sole purpose is to map the entire lunar surface.

Scientists are using the images to help determine where future missions should land, and even where a lunar outpost might be built.

So far, we'd say the orbiter is doing a bang-up job.

Access the interactive map here.