February 5, 2005

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Ina Imaged!


Image Credit: John Sussenbach

Ina Imaged!

Ina is such a small feature (3 km diameter) of such low relief (30 m) that it is L99 in my Lunar 100 list where objects are generally arranged from easiest to most difficult. It is very difficult to visually see Ina and has been almost unphotographable from Earth. But now John Sussenbach's image clearly (but faintly) shows the characteristic D-shaped feature. Ina was discovered during the Apollo program and generated excitement because it appeared to be a young volcanic caldera. A few years ago Pete Schultz of Brown Universirty reinterpreted Ina as a vent where gases escaped from the lunar interior, and added the extraordinary claim that it might be only a few million years old! This is based upon its lack of superposed impact craters, the preservation of very small scale roughness on its floor, and its spectral color which implies very little bombardment by micrometeorites. Ina seems to be proof that the Moon still may be occasionally degassing - maybe not all reports of lunar transent phenomena are bogus, just 99 out of 100.

Chuck Wood

Related Links:
Ina News

Yesterday's LPOD: A New Beginning for LPOD and Lunar Science

Tomorrow's LPOD: Alexander's Teacher

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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