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Dark Rays?

Originally published October 10, 2011 LPOD_Oct10-11.jpg
image by Daniele Gasparri, Perugia (Italy)

Rotating the Moon to center the miniature Tycho presents a slightly less familiar view. Can you identify it? Zucchius is the Tycho imposter, and above it, nearly lost in the topo-robbing high Sun is Bailly, and below is the Schiller-Zucchius Basin (SZB). On the limb at one o'clock from Zucchius is Hausen and the peaks sticking above the limb to Hausen's left are the no longer officially named Doerfel Mountains of Schröter. Now that the distant geography (or selenography) is straight, look at the mottled dark area near bottom-center. This is the mare fill inside the SZB, dusted with bright ejecta from Zucchius and maybe some from Orientale. I've stretched the contrast of the image to make the mare material darker, and two dark halo craters confirm the lavas under bright ejecta. Finally, look at Zucchius itself. Notice the small rays of dark material on its northern rim. This shows up on other high Sun images, and LRO NAC closeups on the LRO Quick Map site show this part of the rim to be veneered with a powder-like material. I doubt if it is volcanic ash, and I don't know exactly how pulverised mare material would get just on one side of the rim.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
September 17th, 2011 with a Celestron C14 @ f11, Lumenera LU075m camera and an IR 700nm filter.

Related Links
Rükl plate 71
Daniele's website

Yesterday's LPOD: Still Waiting

Tomorrow's LPOD: Ready Made LPOD


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