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Lunar Crater 3D Model


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NASA's done most of the heavy lifting on this one but as I haven't had a decent view of the moon for a few weeks I thought I'd have a go at some 3D models of the lunar surface. A lunar Digital Elevation Model ( DEM ) is freely available and this model is of the Kepler crater at a resolution of 256 pixels per degree giving about 118m per pixel.


This is a screenshot from Meshlab but you can see and interact with the actual 3D model at my Sketchfab page - https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/kepler-crater-d8b9a61e57ca4e5b97f871573d3c28db. ( The model was created by modifying some software that I'd previously written for parsing LiDAR data into 3D models )

Similar data with additional image overlays to improve the surface texture are also available from https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=4720. These are at lower resolutions and at the lowest resolution it's possible to create a model of the whole moon but, as might be expected, the detail is disappointingly low. However anything above that resolution gives an absolutely gigantic model that my PC struggles to display. :) To give an idea of the different resolutions here's a comparison of the Kepler Crater:


( The next plan is an Etsy shop where you can buy 3D printed models of all the main lunar craters. Like a sort of Lunar Pokémon - Gotta catch 'em all :) )


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