December 20, 2015

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Peaky Piton

Originally published February 10, 2005


Image Credit: Mike Wirths

Peaky Piton

In some of the speculative paintings of the Moon from the 1950s and earlier, Mount Piton, Pico and similar isolated peaks were often depicted as soaring spires with long shadows. It was the low-angle shadows that fooled them, for Piton is a stubby little peak only 2.3 km high with a base about 25 km across. As Mike’s image shows, Piton has variations in brightness similar to bands on the inner walls of impact craters. The dark hues are probably the space-weathered tone of the mountain, and the bright bands are fresh material exposed by small landslides. The surrounding surface of Mare Imbrium is pockmarked with a number of craters. Some are random impacts, but the fact that many are in short lines, pairs or clusters suggests that they may be secondary craters.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Jan 18, 2005. Starmaster 18" + Atik B&W webcam + 5X barlow, + IR passband filter + Registax 2 + Images Plus. CAW additionally enhanced the image to preserve the peak detail while bringing out detail in the mare. Unfortunately that generated spurious bright and dark edges for the peak and other bright topography.

Related Links:
Calculating the Height of Piton

Yesterday's LPOD: Postcard from the Moon

Tomorrow's LPOD: Seeing Double at Capuanus

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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