Explore 50 years of lunar visits with our newest moon map

In 1969, National Geographic released an acclaimed map of the moon. Now, see the latest version featuring decades' worth of fresh data.

National Geographic has always been at the forefront of lunar mapping. As the Apollo program closed in on its goal, cartographers relied on photos from 1966 and 1967 orbiter missions to create the February 1969 hand-­painted map—considered the best reference at the time. Our newest version uses a mosaic of some 15,000 images and detailed height measurements from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has surveyed the entire surface. The moon is peppered with probes and landers, the legacy of human efforts to explore it.

Read more about past—and future—travels to the moon in our July cover story “50 years after Apollo 11, a new moon race is on.

More from the magazine

Here’s why women may be the best suited for spaceflight
See these otherworldly landscapes—created by whisky
How Argentina is saving one of Earth’s most remote places

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet