The Whole Moon

Howard Fink has been observing the Moon with telescopes since 1999. Howard’s astrophotography journey started with a webcam in 2005, and he began modelling the Moon using 3D printer in 2009, then woodcarving models using CNC router. See for digital astrophotography and synthetic imaging.

Here are the 144 Lunar Astronautical Charts done as 3D digital elevation models using Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter data and painted with the appropriate Wide Angle Camera images. The poles are clay models.  

The process used in creating the charts:

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has a laser altimeter that has been collecting data since 2009, the Moon LRO LOLA DEM 118m v1. I downloaded the 16-bit tiff file where each number (0 – 65,535) in the array represents twice the height above a reference radius of the Moon. A computer program written in Mathematica allows me to select a particular area by latitude and longitude from the file to create a bump map from the data and then map it onto a sphere the size of the Moon. The surface of this bump map is textured with an image of the Moon selected from the Moon LRO LROC WAC Global Morphology Mosaic 100m v3 using the same coordinates as the bump map. The resulting surface is then oriented so the viewpoint is slightly oblique, as though in orbit looking forward. 

This is the snapshot posted on AstroBin. There is a link in the description to the actual LAC Chart, which has an overhead image where the features are labeled accompanied by coordinate gridlines.

You can also go to and type LAC XXX (e.g. LAC 078) in the search box to reach an individual chart. Full resolution is 20-30 megapixels. All the Apollo landing sites have instructions to find the sites. If running the slideshow, clicking the chain icon at the upper left will go to the chart page where you can find the full resolution image.