December 15, 2018

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Who Wants To Drive?

Originally published October 6, 2009 LPOD-Oct6-09.jpg
image by Alex Sanz, Ayllón - Segovia, Spain

The floor of Arzachel is always challenging to image because of the variety of rilles, from the broad shadow-casting one to the narrower and shallower straight segments. And the massive off-center, non-central peak is hard to explain. But what Alex's image made me think of is how difficult it will be to drive into lunar craters. From the outside driving up toward the rim crest will be relatively easy because slopes are low and ejecta fills in many depressions. But beyond the sharp rim crest, dropping down to the first terrace, is a steep slope that would be dangerous to traverse. And then the series of rounded terraces and slump blocks would require careful navigation to find the easiest route to the floor. And what is on the floor to make the hazardous journey worth while? Probably only samples of the central peak, which typically is made of rocks from 5-8 km below the crater floor, a probe of the Moon's otherwise inaccessible upper crust.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
12 Ago 2009 04:39 U.T. SCT 11" + G11-Gemini + DMK 31AU 03. Focal length: 11.2 m (f/40). Registax5 / MaxIm DC / PS CS2.

Related Links
Rükl plate 55
Alex's Astrophotography website

Yesterday's LPOD: In the Footsteps of Galileo

Tomorrow's LPOD: Polar Playthings


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