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Scientists use gravity, topographic data to find unmapped moon craters

June 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM   |   Comments

PERTH, Australia, June 19 (UPI) -- Australian scientists say they've used ultra-high resolution mapping techniques to identify 280 craters on the moon that have never been mapped before.

Researchers at Curtin University in Western Australia used computer modeling of lunar gravity and topographic data to explore detailed basins that would be obscured using other methods, China's Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

After an original identification of two basins on the lunar far side, the researchers extended their search efforts to the entire surface of the moon, Will Featherstone, a professor at Curtin's Institute for Geoscience Research, said.

The crater search was not without its difficulties, he said.

"The dark side of the moon is particularly challenging because moon-orbiting satellites cannot be tracked from Earth when they are over the far side," Featherstone said.

The technique was fine-tuned in an initial development of an ultra-high resolution gravity map of Earth, researchers said.

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