Information based on PDS March 2011 release (LDEM_128)
Screenshots [March 2011 release] :
What is Celestia ?
Celestia is a free multi-platform space 3D simulator which lets user travel through the solar system, and explore the various planets, moons and asteroids.
There are numerous add-ons that can be downloaded to enhance your experience: spacecraft models, planetary textures, etc. The main repository is the Celestia Motherlode.
To make it possible for everyone to see the Moon in a new way, with the eyes of a laser altimeter, we created a special set of textures from the data collected by the LRO LOLA instrument collected in the past few months!
Here are some screenshots showing these newly-released LOLA altimetry maps.
(the order is: default; with LOLA normal map; with LOLA normal map and texture)
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image.
The false-color maps display the topography (relief) of the lunar surface, with cool colors representing low regions and warm colors highlands.
* If you don't have Celestia already installed on your computer, download it here and install it.
* You should problably also install a high-resolution texture of the Moon (visible light), as the default maps in Celestia are lower resolution than the LOLA maps.
One great map created by John van Vliet is available here on the Celestia Motherlode.
Make sure to follow the instructions when you uncompress the various files.
Depending on your computer, you may also not want to download all the files. Levels 4 and 5 are for the highest resolution only.
* Finally, get the LOLA maps themselves! Download from the links below. You will need to unzip those into your Celestia "extras" directory.
The "extras" directory in which you need to uncompress the LOLA VTs differs depending on your platform.
- on MacOSX, you cannot directly access the contents of the latest version of Celestia (1.6) . In Finder, when in the Applications directory, you will need to right-click on the "Celestia" icon and select "Show Package Contents". If it does not exist, create an "extras" directory in "/Applications/Celestia.app/Contents/Resources/CelestiaResources/"
- on Windows, the "extras" directory should be directly below your chosen installation path (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Celestia\extras\"). With the latest Windows OS versions, the "Program Files" directories are protected, so you will need to confirm every copy/unzip command to the "extras" directory. If you haven't installed Celestia yet, we'd recommend installing it in another directory (e.g., "C:\Celestia").
- if you use Linux, you can probably figure it out ;)
The "normal map", which enables Celestia to represent illumination changes due to topography such as shadows near the terminator (dawn/dusk line, see figures above), is broken down in several files. Because the maps are a preliminary product (LOLA is still collecting data day to day!), they will look too smooth at the highest zoom levels (levels 4-5). On the other hand, it can give you a good idea of the sampling, because the orbital ground tracks of LRO so far are clearly visible.
Normal map: levels 0-2 (~24 Mb), level 3 (~56 Mb), level 4 (~200 Mb), level 5 (~670 Mb)
The "topographic map" is the false-color texture. It is difficult from the visible-spectrum images to get a good feel for the relief. Like for the map above, at the highest levels, interpolation is used to fill in the current coverage gaps.
Topography map: levels 0-2 (~16 Mb), level 3 (~35 Mb), level 4 (~103 Mb), level 5 (~300 Mb)
You can download both datasets (levels 0-2) at once here (~40Mb).
Make sure to read the instructions in the "readme.txt" files included in the ZIP files.
After uncompressing the archives you downloaded, you should have a "LOLA_March2011release" directory in your "extras" folder.
Once the textures are installed correctly, you can right-click on the Moon in order to select an "Alternate Surface".
The center images above used "with LOLA shading", and the right-hand side used "LOLA topography with shading".
MOONNORMALTOPO_LOLA_LEVEL012.zip = bcde57346690874f2ce1e8b0c407b6a3
MOONNORMAL_LOLA_LEVEL012.zip = e90ae00df1b2d3d696638296aa18ee77
MOONNORMAL_LOLA_LEVEL3.zip = e3207c37fd4e48951d63805247c4818e
MOONNORMAL_LOLA_LEVEL4.zip = 56d9a9d2df7700954dcda2c996afdad8
MOONNORMAL_LOLA_LEVEL5.zip = 23e652f3e667b30a8bbb9e6869239993
MOONTOPO_LOLA_LEVEL012.zip = 4e055af2362310681063d0cb2752a655
MOONTOPO_LOLA_LEVEL3.zip = 7168e46647c667a413185afe6466a23c
MOONTOPO_LOLA_LEVEL4.zip = 423a9d2c33f21689e6d9b098d6611bca
MOONTOPO_LOLA_LEVEL5.zip = e63478a8a0e8ad965df0486d89c18bff
For use with other programs (such as LTVT), or for your enjoyment, you can download non-tiled false-color topography images :
LDEM_16.png (5760x2880, 20MB)
LDEM_16.jpg (5760x2880, 6MB, q=90)
LDEM_128.jpg (46080x23040, 112MB, q=90)
LDEM_128.jpg (46080x23040, 42MB, q=70)
Grayscake topography :
LDEM_16_gray.jpg (5760x2880, 2MB, q=90)
LDEM_16_gray.png (5760x2880, 8MB)
Shaded-relief images :
LDEM_16_shdA045.jpg (5760x2880, 6MB, q=90, lighting azimuth = 045deg)
LDEM_16_shdA135.jpg (5760x2880, 6MB, q=90, lighting azimuth = 135deg)
LDEM_16_shdA225.jpg (5760x2880, 6MB, q=90, lighting azimuth = 225deg)
LDEM_16_shdA315.jpg (5760x2880, 6MB, q=90, lighting azimuth = 315deg)