April 22, 2012

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Spiky Moon

Kaguya topo globe image produced by Maurice Collins, New Zealand

Once again, without notice, the website of the Japanese Kaguya mission has quietly posted some new data. The Japanese version has a number of new maps and images based on recently published papers, and Maurice has discovered that the global topo map has been enhanced by the addition of 3-D exageration. This view is centered over the Orientale Basin and looks south and west to the dark blue South Pole-Aitken megabasin. Maurice commented that SPA scalped the Moon - slicing off the surface material and digging down so far that the curvature was flattened. The high (red) farside terrain north of the basin has been explained as being the excavated material from SPA that was dumped downrange, in other words, SPA formed as a huge oblique impact - a giant Messier. I warn that if you download the topo globe you will spend too much time rotating and turning the Moon, constantly watching instantly responding traverses.

Chuck Wood

Yesterday's LPOD: Bumpy Road

Tomorrow's LPOD: Technicolor


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