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Google Maps Moon likely uses a Simple Cylindrical projection for storing their map data. This is fine for the majority of the globe, but there are problems at the poles. Here are a few reasons why imagery of the poles is problematic: The data is prone to discontinuities because it has the entire top or bottom edge of the rectangular projection converging on ...


The strong distortions and star-like stripes are an artifact of Googles' image processing. For comparison, here is a screenshot of our own South Pole : I increased the contrast to make the artifacts more visible - the ice itself just has less contrast than the rocky features of the Moon.


The lighting is different at the poles. The sun is always very close to the horizon. There are some crater floors at the poles that never see sunlight. These crater floors are always inky black. Likewise there are polar plateaus and mountain tops that enjoy nearly constant sunlight. Shadows cast across these plateaus are always long though. And these long ...

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