The composite image consists of a subset of Moon Mineralogy Mapper data for the Orientale region. The image strip on the left is a color composite of data from 28 separate wavelengths of light reflected from the moon. The blue to red tones reveal changes in rock and mineral composition, and the green color is an indication of the abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. The image strip on the right is from a single wavelength of light that contains thermal emission, providing a new level of detail on the form and structure of the region's surface.
The Moon Mineralogy Mapper provides scientists their first opportunity to examine lunar mineralogy at high spatial and spectral resolution.
It is these types of missions that will be truly valuable as we attempt to colonize the Moon. With prior knowledge of the mineral content of these Lunar sites, we can better determine where to mine for the minerals that will be needed to construct and maintain any Lunar habitat. The sooner we do this preliminary work the sooner we can all head out to the MOON!