February 26, 2013

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Ropes And Rice

image by Damian Peach, Selsey, UK

We usually see Grimaldi as a dark spotch near the western limb. Damian's magnificent near-terminator view shows there are many fascinating details to savor. Most arresting to me is the wedge of terraces just inside the opposite rim. I know that China has an active lunar exploration program; these terraces, minus the green of rice, will make them feel at home. More prosaically, the terraces are an ejecta flow from the formation of the Orientale Basin. The terracing is not visible on the higher Sun LRO QuickMap mosaic, once again demonstrating the continuing value of telescopic low-Sun images. I wonder if these terraces are like ropes in ropy lava, places where the slowing flow of material crumples as the snout cools and slows while the back part is still moving forward? Skipping over most of the other interesting features take a look at the half-shadow filled crater Damoiseau D near bottom left. Looking at the illuminated wall there is a bright rim top, with a lower dark band - partially with a bright band within it - resting on another bright band. This looks like layering within the crater's wall, but the QuickMap view reveals that this is an unusual concentric crater. The exact mapping of bands in Damian's oblique view onto the overhead LRO image is an exercise left to the reader.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details

Related Links
Rükl plate 39
21st Century Atlas chart 26.
Damian's webpage & Facebook page

Yesterday's LPOD: The Truth

Tomorrow's LPOD: Snow Moon


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