Chang'E 3 Special Issue

Analysis of the geomorphology surrounding the Chang’e-3 landing site

Chun-Lai Li, Ling-Li Mu, Xiao-Duan Zou, Jian-Jun Liu, Xin Ren, Xing-Guo Zeng, Yi-Man Yang, Zhou-Bin Zhang, Yu-Xuan Liu, Wei Zuo, Han Li


Abstract Chang’e-3 (CE-3) landed on the Mare Imbrium basin in the east part of Sinus Iridum (19.51°W, 44.12°N), which was China’s first soft landing on the Moon and it started collecting data on the lunar surface environment. To better understand the environment of this region, this paper utilizes the available high-resolution topography data, image data and geological data to carry out a detailed analysis and research on the area surrounding the landing site (Sinus Iridum and 45 km×70 km of the landing area) as well as on the topography, landform, geology and lunar dust of the area surrounding the landing site. A general topographic analysis of the surrounding area is based on a digital elevation model and digital elevation model data acquired by Chang’e-2 that have high resolution; the geology analysis is based on lunar geological data published by USGS; the study on topographic factors and distribution of craters and rocks in the surrounding area covering 4 km×4 km or even smaller is based on images from the CE-3 landing camera and images from the topographic camera; an analysis is done of the effect of the CE-3 engine plume on the lunar surface by comparing images before and after the landing using data from the landing camera. A comprehensive analysis of the results shows that the landing site and its surrounding area are identified as typical lunar mare with flat topography. They are suitable for maneuvers by the rover, and are rich in geological phenomena and scientific targets, making it an ideal site for exploration.


Keywords atlases — methods: data analysis — techniques: image processing — techniques: photometric

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