April 1, 2004

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What Part of the Moon is This?


Image Credit: NSSDC

What Part of the Moon is This?

Recently, some photographs were recovered that had been misplaced since the 1970s. Unfortunately, the labels identifying the spacecraft and areas imaged are no longer attached to them. The pictures show craters and smooth plains that are hard to identify, suggesting that the area has otherwise been poorly imaged. However, with some careful photo-geologic analysis we can made headway in understanding what they depict and maybe where they are. In the left side image the dominate features are the bright rays diverging from a crater that is unfortunately out of the image to the left. Such a well-defined ray pattern suggests that the parent crater may be Tycho, but the area shown doesn't have the great jumble of crater on top of crater as near Tycho. Perhaps the left image shows the farside ray crater Jackson. The right image appears to be of higher resolution and shows a broad rimmed crater with a relatively smooth floor. Wrinkle ridges seem to define a inner ring, similar to some of the small impact basins on the lunar farside. Many of the craters around this feature are heavily battered, as if the area is near a major basin. At first I thought the large crater was Korolev on the farside but the interiors don't match. Please let me know if you can identify the areas shown by these mysterious images.

Related Links:
Lunar Farside
Rayed Craters

Yesterday's LPOD: Great Graben!

Tomorrow's LPOD: Interplanetary Comparisons

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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