The question If you fell into a crater on the moon in your spacesuit and no jetpack, is there a way to use low gravity to get out of the hole? mentions Aristarchus crater as an example.

It's a pretty large crater and the sides will have complex topography. The image below is a Hubble Space Telescope image combined with topographical data from LRO from Hubble Space Telescope Looks at the Moon to Prospect for Resources (Aristarchus Crater - gray); "Simulated topography derived from Clementine data is used for relief"

Is it possible to find a topographical map for this crater, or some way to estimate the average sidewall slope?

Hubble Space Telescope Looks at the Moon to Prospect for Resources (Aristarchus Crater - gray)

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    $\begingroup$ It looks like you could walk out. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I didn't see a lot of conventional stairs in Kim Holders' Moonwards videos, I think vertical ascent may be tougher than it first seems, though we should limit that discussion to the linked question. There's this though: youtu.be/6eNjO8_VgYQ $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 0:58
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    $\begingroup$ sos.noaa.gov/datasets/moon-surface-slope almost certainly has it, but it's too late in the day for me to figure out the answer from it... $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 1:51
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    $\begingroup$ A quick look at a contour map shows 15 to 20 degree slope (beware exaggerated vertical scale in 'simulated' photo). $\endgroup$
    – amI
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @amI thanks! Is it a "secret" contour map? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


The slope is over 50 degrees at some point.

I made a quick pseudocolor rendering of the slope with QGIS using the global DEM from LRO LOLA. The slope was generated from the DEM using QGIS's slope tool, after having cropped the global DEM. Some artifacts (the vertical bands) can be seen though.

Also, Regional tiles from SLDEM2015 can be useful to not have to download 8 gigabytes.

Slope at Aristachrus crater

Another useful link: NASA Moon Trek enables to compute the elevation profile over a path (but not the slope though).

  • $\begingroup$ Beautiful! It seems one would have to do some careful planning to find an easy path between top and bottom. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! Very cool. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 13:10

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