Writing in Sky and Telescope magazine, Kelly Beatty (BS '73), the magazine's Senior Contributing Editor, writes that the old version of the globe, derived from 1960s lunar charts, "doesn't look anything like what you'd see in the eyepiece — there's little distinction between the dark lunar maria and the brighter highlands, for example. That old globe, while serviceable, just wasn't satisfying. So for years I've been prowling around for a suitable database of lunar photos to make a new one."
The new version of the globe was made possible by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, launched aboard a NASA spacecraft in 2009. The camera, designed in part to assess meter-scale features of the moon, is a modified version of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's cameras designed by Malin Space Science Systems, headed by Michael Malin (PhD '76).
>> Read the Caltech article <<