The South Pole of the Moon – Shackleton Crater   19 comments

The South Pole of the Moon is at 10 o’clock on the rim of Shackleton Crater.  20 meter data from a 1500 x 2100 original.  42 kilometers x 30 kilometers. It wouldn’t be a fair Marathon, though, the change in height here is 4.6 km.  It’s a long way down, and the walls of the crater are quite smooth.  This is corrected from an earlier image that was exaggerated in Z.  This has the to scale proportions.

From overhead, gray tone shading by height.  A correct representation.

Closeup of floor of Shackleton. 10km width, 15 meter data.

The casting is 5″ x 7″ and a bit over an inch thick.


Shackleton Crater in Maple.  Model about 9.5″ square.


Posted February 1, 2011 by finkh in Uncategorized

19 responses to “The South Pole of the Moon – Shackleton Crater

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  1. Who needs Armstrong?

  2. I posted a comment in a post you made about your workflow and this is the original post I was referencing. Where can I find this height map data? I’m looking for a high resolution height map of Shackleton Crater and the surrounding area so I can make an accurate 3d model of it. Can you help me out with finding the data and/or the images needed for making a 3d model? Thank you much!


  3. Pingback: Shackleton Crater in a department store window. | AstroPhoto

  4. Can somebody please explain where those lines on the crater come from?

    • This was an early (2010) release of the data with a low number of orbits to use to make the model. The lines are seams. The passes are only 20 meters wide. For a variety of reasons, the passes do not line up exactly, and the stitching of the data produces the lines. Later releases (2014) (~4000 orbits a year) with more passes have eliminated the lines. I will try again.

      Howard Fink

  5. The scan width for the Laser Altimeter is about 20 meters. Each orbit scans a different slice, in a different orientation, as the moon rotates underneath the polar orbit. The software that stitches together the slices does the best job it can (this is an early data release, so there are not a lot of orbits) and produces seams with bumps, which are the lines in the model. Data from 2014 and later is much cleaner, as there are now many thousands of scan passes of the poles.

  6. Hello finkh,

    First of all, congratulations for the models, the are undoubtedly the most precise and well rendered that I’ve seen.
    I’m currently in my last year at the Montpellier (France) architecture school. For my last project, I’m designing a place for a living next to the Shackleton crater. I’ have not been able to collect of transform data I’ve found to make a model now, so I wonder if I could have access to your 3D model, only for educational purposes.

    Thanks in advance.

    Thibault Monfort-Ginet

  7. Or if you want to keep your model, which I can understand, could you share info on the data you’ve worked with?
    In fact, I tried to model with the grayscake height map you’ve posted, but it seems that another layer is on, and I suppose it is a shadow map.
    Thanks again for the input.

  8. Wow, lightning quick answer 🙂
    That’s very nice to you. I thought I’d have to go with a very low-res topographic map or a 50 bucks hi-res bump map.
    I’ll just leave my email address here :
    Thank you very much. You’ll of course be credited in my work.

    Looking forwad to see the model.

  9. can you pretty please email me the computer model of this site? i intend to use it as part of a project i’m working on.

  10. I’m actually giving my thesis this year in B.Arch design and will be sure to mention your help in the report.

    P.S I’m designing a centrifuge habitat for a mining colony on the crater rim of Shakelton.

  11. Beautiful work! I too would love a copy of the 3D file so I can print out a physical model to support a non-commercial design project. My email is Thank you!

  12. Wow, this is so great work!!! I wanted to make a 3D model of exact same site as you did. Please, share with me your great work. I’d like to make a print it.
    my email is
    Best regards KIM

  13. And I’d like to keep in touch with you. I’m an architect and I have a similar project as you.

  14. Hello Fink H. amazing work and beautiful 3d print! I’m a architecture student and i’m doing my master thesis about in Shackleton crater. I’ve tried to make the exact same model but in with some major issues. I would like to ask you some questions about your process and if you share me your model for education propose.
    Best regards Tomas Ramos

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