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Latest revision as of 01:05, 29 May 2019


Originally published February 14, 2010 LPOD-Feb_14-10.jpg
south up image by Nick Smith, La Palma, Canary Islands

This image has so many interesting features that I'm forced to conduct a guided tour. Wurzelbauer is an odd feature. Its interior is full of irregular hills, with a patch of rille-cut smooth plain. The curved shadow within the textured floor appears to be the rim of a crater that formed with Wurzelbauer. The next stop is Cichus, whose smoothed rim suggests an older age than hinted at by its radial ridge ejecta on the maria lavas to the left and right. Notice the short rille on the floor of Weiss? Dropping down to the lower right is Kies with its handle, and just to the right its classic pit-topped dome. Passing through Kies and to its upper left are a series of faint white swaths - rays from Tycho; note the elongated secondary crater chain on one ray. The star of this view is Pitatus and especially its rilles just inside the rim. It is well-known that the edges of the circumferential rilles are warped upwards, and Nick's image beautifully show that for the leftmost rille. The low Sun view also shows a low flat ridge extending from the central peak to the south - how is this narrow plateau associated with the rille that runs in the same direction? Finally, the crater Pitatus B is peculiar in having a missing northern rim. Was it faulted downward? Or did the embaying lava somehow destroy it? It is a mystery how mare lavas erase crater walls.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
14 August 2009, around 05:40 UT. Celestron C14, Lumenera Infinity 2-1M camera.
Apologies to Nick for decreasing his smooth tonality by my image stretching.
I noticed when displaying this image with north up that it doesn't look as interesting. I think that is because I "read" images from left to right, top to bottom, and when north is up the upper left is an area with fewer dramatic shadows.

Related Links
Rükl plates 54 & 64

Here is the full size, original image.

Yesterday's LPOD: Driving Across Ptolemy

Tomorrow's LPOD: Sunrise On Samos' Most Famous Astronomer


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