Coordinates of anthropogenic features on the Moon

R. V. Wagner, D. M. Nelson, J. B. Plescia, Mark Robinson, E. J. Speyerer, E. Mazarico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


High-resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) reveal the landing locations of recent and historic spacecraft and associated impact sites across the lunar surface. Using multiple images of each site acquired between 2009 and 2015, an improved Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) ephemeris, and a temperature-dependent camera orientation model, we derived accurate coordinates (<12 m) for each soft-landed spacecraft, rover, deployed scientific payload, and spacecraft impact crater that we have identified. Accurate coordinates enhance the scientific interpretations of data returned by the surface instruments and of returned samples of the Apollo and Luna sites. In addition, knowledge of the sizes and positions of craters formed as the result of impacting spacecraft provides key benchmarks into the relationship between energy and crater size, as well as calibration points for reanalyzing seismic measurements acquired during the Apollo program. We identified the impact craters for the three spacecraft that impacted the surface during the LRO mission by comparing before and after NAC images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Data reduction techniques
  • Image processing
  • Moon, surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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