February 17, 2020

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Lava Tales

Originally published September 5, 2010 LPOD-Sept5-10.jpg
image by 白尾 元理 (Motomaro Shirao), Tokyo, Japan

One of the great discoveries of Apollo imaging was the well defined lava flows in western Mare Imbrium. During another night of decent seeing Moto was able to beautifully capture those flows and their setting. And incidentally, demonstrate again that in an era of exploding availability of spacecraft images, amateur imaging can still surprise, inform and delight. I have learned a number of things from this image. First, the long flow intersected by the Zirkel Ridge and the older twin-lobed one to the west are much closer to Lambert than I had appreciated. Between Lambert and La Hire are likely to be other flows whose margins are not as clear. I never saw before that the Zirkel Flow (for lack of any other name) smoothed over the mare ridge to the east - see how the ridge topography is subdued just where the flow crosses it? Amazing. And why is the Zirkel Ridge at an angle to the other ridges of this area - does it have a somewhat different origin? Finally, on Moto's image I saw for the first time a long thin depression that leads from near Carlini downhill towards the center of Imbrium. Is this a lava flow channel? I am sure that low Sun LRO WAC images will help elucidate this at some point, but I have been thrilled by the discoveries on this amateur image from Tokyo.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
2010, Sep, 2; 19:16 UT. ASKO 36cm Ref. + Pentax XP14mm projection lens + Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Shatter speed: 0.6 sec. ISO: 800.

Related Links
Rükl plates 10 & 20

Yesterday's LPOD: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Tomorrow's LPOD: Progress


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