January 3, 2008

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Highland Volcanism?

image by Wes Higgins

The lunar highlands are boring. True or false? There is some truth to that statement because of the sameness of many of the craters. But there are mysteries and gems to stumble upon, such as two in this marvelous image - do you see them yet? This is part of the Great Peninsula of highlands, just to the west of the Altai Scarp, which is just beyond the right edge of the image. The large crater with the non-circular outline (is it really one crater?) is Sacrobosco, and at upper left is Abenezra with its odd curve of hills slumped down from its rim. Immediately to the south is Azophi and below it are two highland oddities. Inside the older crater Azophi G (touching the southwest edge of Azophi) is an off-center, rounded hill, labeled Azophi Gamma by Mädler. I don’t think it is a central peak (they aren’t common in nearby old craters here), but it could be a volcanic dome. It must be steeper-sided than mare domes in order to be so visible at this high illumination. Continuing southward is another oddity - the concentric crater Pontanus E. This is included in my catalog of 30 years ago, which noted that concentric craters are rare within the highlands. Wes’ image shows the inner ring as being flattened, rather than having the more typical rounded profile. This area is so interesting that it will be tomorrow’s LPOD too - when a brand new discovery (I think) will be announced.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
08-03-07. 18" Reflector, Infinity 2-1m video camera, MAP /45, stack of 300 frames

Related Links:
Rükl plate 56
An earlier view

Yesterday's LPOD: Bright Streaks

Tomorrow's LPOD: The Prize Discovery


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