Over the past four years the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was busy collecting photographs… 10,581 to be exact. And it was all for you! So you could explore the moon at a dazzling resolution of six feet per pixel—your tax dollars at work
San Francisco is renowned for its winding roads, stunning Victorian architecture, and, of course, its sprawling bridges. But the City by the Bay is also known for its hilly terrain — a geological feature that's often obscured by its landmarks. These new maps show the city's sensual contours in all their glory.
Thanks to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we can now see the Moon's mountains and craters in unprecedented detail. This beautiful topographic map is going to be an invaluable resource in planning the next generation of lunar missions.
For years, fish fossils have turned up in the deserts of western Egypt, and nobody could explain why. Now we know: Long ago, the Egyptian desert was home to a body of water the size of Lake Michigan.
What better way to learn about the ocean's depths than plastering this contraption on a wild seal's head? This guy and 56 of his friends are gathering information about the seafloor to help scientists model the ocean's reaction to climate change.
Imagine a vast kingdom of rolling hills and rippling tides, cast in soothing shades of green, blue, and yellow. A kingdom that is soft and squishy. A kingdom in which the only doctrine is the Divine Right of Toes.
Those towering peaks casting shadows over San Francisco? Those are where you see the highest incidence of prostitution. Creator Doug McCune has 3D topographical maps of seven more types of San Francisco crime, from assault to vandalism. The complete set:
Here's an orthoimage of the famous Olympus Mons on Mars, with the different colors representing different elevations. It's just a taste of the 3-D goodness to come. The European Space Agency is getting ready to release a new high-resolution Digital Terrain Model dataset that will let researchers build their own 3-D…