July 11, 2004

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Toby's Dome



Image Credit: K.C. Pau

Toby's Dome

Question: What can an amateur astronomer with a webcam and 10" telescope on the balcony do that NASA hasn't done yet? Answer: Take high resolution images along the terminator to reveal domes and low elevation features. That is exactly what K.C. Pau does. His photo of an area west of Copernicus shows a 17 km wide dome - with an elongated summit pit - that is only 10-20 km away from the terminator - see mouseover image. This dome is definite and well known, but other possible ones nearby are less certain. For example, K.C. recognized that two smaller features shown here might also be domes: a 7 km wide smooth surfaced one with an off-center crater north of T. Mayer C, and another 7 km one, this time with a rougher surface and two pits, south of T. Mayer D. I suggest that another likely dome is in the upper right corner of K.C.'s image. It is about 16 km wide and cut by a 7 km long by 1.8 km wide depression. Very slight changes in tone occur where the curved dome seems to meet the flat mare. I can see it - can you? None of these domes or possible domes can be seen with any clarity on the higher resolution and higher sun angle Orbiter IV image. The only way to confirm these domes' reality - or to reject them - is to make more images and more visual observations when sunlight is once again just grazing this area. That is exactly what the Geological Researches Group does - check them out!

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
June 27, 2004. 10" f/6 Newtonian + Barlow + Phillips Toucam Pro
Craters Tobias Mayer C and D are between Copernicus and T. Mayer (Rukl 31).

Related Links:
Lunar Orbiter IV View
Longshaw's Lunar Volcanoes
A Dome Near Copernicus by Raffaello Lena and others. Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, vol. 48 #2, 2004.

Yesterday's LPOD: Lunie

Tomorrow's LPOD: Look Twice, Twice

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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