December 11, 2015

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Swell Linne

Originally published December 22, 2004



Image Credit: Jim Phillips

Swell Linne

Linne was the most famous crater of the 19th century. And the most famous non-event. The well-known story is that the great observer Schmidt announced that the once easy to see crater Linne had disappeared, being replaced by a small pit surrounded by a white halo. One hundred years later high resolution Apollo 15 images show that Linne is a fresh young crater 2.4 km wide, but provide no evidence that a larger crater previously existed there. The great Schmidt was wrong. But there are still new things to see near Linne as Jim's image reveals. The image shows a relatively smooth section of Mare Serenitatis lavas, but my aggressive unsharp masking in Photoshop (mouseover) enhances subtle relief to tell an additional story. The surface of Serenitatis is mottled, and at least three broad swells (S) are detected. These are probably only a few tens of meters high but are 25-30 km wide. Near the bottom of the image the surface is mottled and faint edges south of Linne could be flow front margins. Additional volcanic activity, other than placid flows, is evidenced by a possible partially covered rille (r), collapse pits (p) and a pitted(?) dome (d). We need similar high res, low sun images of all the lunar maria to prospect for unknown features of low relief.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Dec 18, 2004. TMB 8" F/9 + 3X Barlow + Registax

Related Links:
Linne - Apollo 15
The Lunar Crater Linne (Pike) Sky & Telescope, Dec. 1973, p 364-366.
Sheehan and Dobbins (2001) Epic Moon Ch. 11.
Rukl Atlas of the Moon, Sheet 23

Yesterday's LPOD: Full Moon and High Res

Tomorrow's LPOD: Double Rings


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Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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