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Lunar surface Temperature Field


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Apologies for an elementary and probably ill-posed question.  I'd like to use the lunar surface temperature data (so far I've been looking at DLRE GDR-L2 at various channels 1-7 & TBOL in level 3) for lesson purposes on determining the basic energy balance and temperature of planets/moons.  I'm looking for some representative surface temperature data showing the large gradients in temperature between, e.g., the equator at noon and nightime, as well as a function of latitude.  I can combine datasets obtained from multiple time intervals, but evidently I'm not understanding the data search completely, as some files have images of lunar temperatures (in the LunarOrbital Data Explorer/Data Product Search) with almost uniform values of 300-400 K everywhere on the lunar surface, which can't be right, so those must not be a snapshot in time.(  E.g., I'm looking at a plot of a file DGDR_TBOL_AVG_CYL_20110111D_001_JP2.JP2). 


In any case, if someone can point me to the most appropriate data search for what I'm doing, would be appreciated.  I don't need great spatial/temporal resolution, just enough data to create a few "broad" plots showing temperature as a function of time of day or latitude.

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The Diviner TB GDRs are not time of day snapshots, rather they are averaged values over a range of days (called a cycle)..  So they are good for exploring temperature variations over seasons but not variations over a time of day ( see the Diviner GDR SIS for more details at ftp://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/lro/lro-l-dlre-4-rdr-v1/lrodlr_1001/document/dp_sis.pdf ).  The closest to time of day is that the GDR TB products are further broken into day and night averages which would allow comparison of day and night values. This is indicated by the D or N at the end of the date in the Product Id - for example, DGDR_TBOL_AVG_CYL_2011011D_001 is a daytime average.  DGDR_TBOL_AVG_CYL_20100203N_001 is a night time average.  Comparing averages from day values to averages from night values may give you what you are looking for. 


At the current time, doing a true time of day analysis will require working with the Diviner RDR data directly.  You could a small query a spot on the surface of the moon and at a given time of day using the Diviner RDR query tool (


If you can wait, the Diviner team will be releasing a new dataset that includes Time of Day GDRs that should meet exactly what you want.  The dataset is in peer review now but there is not an official release date yet.

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