December 5, 2016

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One or Two Craters?

Originally published January 24, 2007


image by Damian Peach

Wurzelbauer is a strange crater. Its raised rim is gone and its shallow interior appears to contain another battered crater 3/4th of its 88 km diameter. I suggest labelling this feature Wurzelbauer R to indicate that it is a ruin. Damian’s remarkable low Sun view shows two aspects of the floor better than any other image I have seen. First is the roughness that is unstructured - it looks like a pasty mass of ejecta rather than any sort of rim slump or other normal crater interior material. I never noticed before that the roughness is contained within R, the moat between the rim of R and the western rim of Wurzelbauer is less rugged. The second peculiar aspect well shown in this image is the smooth terrain on the east side of R and the system of rilles that cut it. This looks like mare material but in high Sun views lacks the low albedo (dark hue) that characterizes mare lavas. Look closely at the upper left side of Wurzelbauer and R and notice some smaller rilles. One possibility is that Wurzelbauer is a floor-fractured crater. Such craters typically occur near mare edges, have elevated interiors, concentric fractures and occasional patches of lava. In this interpretation the rim of R would really be similar to raised curved interiors of FFCs such as Taruntius. So which is it - is R a later crater that hosted some volcanism and rilling, or is everything we see just an unusual manifestation of floor-fracturing?

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
2006/04/21. C14 @ F41. LU075M

Related Links:
Rükl chart 64
Damian’s website
Another view

Yesterday's LPOD: Yesterday's News

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Line Leading to Linne


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