December 30, 2008

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Railway Tracks

image from Kaguya Archives

Can you imagine being in lunar orbit and seeing scenes like this passing by? A number of new stills from the Kaguya HDTV are now available including this remarkable view looking north over the Hippalus Rilles. Campanus is the crater with a rille on its floor at bottom right, and Hippalus is the large crater near the middle whose left side is missing and is embayed by lavas from Mare Humorum. It is not completely clear why mare-facing crater walls disappear, but this oblique view shows that the wall becomes progressively lower from its high right side until it disappears. This means that Hippalus formed on sloping terrain and/or it was tilted inward as the basin's center subsided, and then was covered by lavas. The oblique view also suggests that the floor of Campanus is at a higher level than the mare surface outside it to the right. This isn't certain, but if true means that the mare and the lava inside the crater were not fed from the same reservoir.

Chuck Wood

Related Links
Rükl plate 53

Yesterday's LPOD: Two Domes & Two Rilles

Tomorrow's LPOD: Pro-Am Observing


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