New Diviner Data Product of the Lacus Mortis Region Released

A new Diviner data product has been released on NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS) of the Lacus Mortis region of the Moon. Lacus Mortis is a 100 mile (160 km) wide basin filled with mare basalts and the landing site of the upcoming Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One, the first commercial mission planned to land on another planetary body.

The new dataset was generated from over 11 years of Diviner data to provide an unprecedented view of the daily temperatures of the regions. A recent publication in the journal Earth and Space Science utilized the dataset to characterize the properties of the surface materials in Lacus Mortis, including the proposed landsite of the Astrobotic mission. Surface temperatures within the predicted landing ellipse were observed to vary between -300 °F (-185 °C) at night and 185 °F (85 °C) during the middle of the day. Variations in the temperatures of the materials with changing illumination conditions, and cooling rates during the night, were use to map out differences in terrain properties.

Figure: (left) An image mosaic of the Lacus Mortis regions with the location of the Astrobotic Mission One landing ellipse shown and the inset globe with a red star marking the location of Lacus Mortis. (right) A map of the minimum temperatures of Lacus Mortis derived from the new dataset.

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