Cartography: The Moon: Rougher than You Think

Viewed with the naked eye or the world's biggest telescope, the moon looks flat. Because of its great distance, the sharpest irregularities on its surface show only because of the shadows that they cast in slanting sunlight. But the moon is more rugged than Afghanistan; when earthly astronauts land there, they will need the best possible contour maps to guide them through the precipitous mountains that hide just over the lunar horizon. Last week NASA's moon pioneers were beginning to plot their first explorations, using an entirely new set of maps made by the Army Corps of Engineers that...

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