January 11, 2012

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Southern Solitude

image by Yuri Goryachko, Mikhail Abgarian, Konstantin Morozov, Minsk, Belarus.

What a variety of landforms in this view looking across the Australe sea. The mare itself is like a collection of lakes rather than a broad sea. There is a basin under it all but it must have been an early one that healed isostatically - the warmth of the early crust allowed the fractures to heal and the mountainous rim to subside. The lava fill is probably only a kilometer or so thick, not enough to cause subsidence to produce circumferential rilles. Looking across Australe is the crater Jenner at 96° E longitude. At the far left is Humboldt, perhaps an outlier perhaps based on its lava patches, but Humboldt's lavas are darker and perhaps younger than those of Australe. At the center of the scene are two of the smallest fresh craters with the longest rays. With this lighting and excellent processing the two rayed craters are finally visible. Finally, at the right is what looks like a railroad bending into the distance. This is the Rheita Valley, a chain of secondary craters formed by debris ejected from the Nectaris Basin. This is a great corner of the Moon to view with understanding. Visit the entire marvelous Minsk mosaic that this is only a fragment from.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
November 5, 2011, 16:30UT. Maksutov-Cassegrain Santel D=230mm F=3000mm, prime focus, Unibrain Fire-i 702 CCD b/w camera (IEEE-1394, 1388x1040); Filter: Baader IR-pass 685nm+. Processing in Avistack, Astra Image, Photoshop.

Related Links
Rükl plate 68 and others

Yesterday's LPOD: Good Librations*

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Little Prince Moonset


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