July 14, 2004

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Jim and Davy



Image Credit: Jim Phillips

Jim and Davy

Feast your eyes on this remarkable telescopic image of the Davy crater chain! Jim Phillips took it with his 8" refractor and got a result that's closer to spacecraft views than Earthly images. The Davy chain looks like a target for machine gun practice, being a line of 13-25 (depending on your resolution) small craters splayed across the floor and onto the rim of the 70 km wide Davy Y. For many years this feature was misunderstood. Was it a secondary crater chain from a basin, or a chain of explosive volcanoes? As a previous LPOD discusses, both of those possibilities are probably wrong, but they were the only conceivable options until the Shoemaker-Levy impacts on Jupiter led to a realization that comets could be gravitationally shredded to yield a stream of projectiles. Note that the Davy chain isn't the only crater-like features visible in this image. A whole family of gouges and overlapping depressions is aligned approximately perpendicular to the Davy chain. These point back to the center of the Imbrium Basin and are part of the famous Imbrium Sculpture, formed by a hurricane of ejecta, often low angle, that scoured across the Moon 3.85 billion years ago.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
July 9, 2004; TMB 8" F/9 apo, webcam, Registax. 3X barlow. Rukl chart 43.

Related Links:
Apollo 12 LPOD
Philiips and Scope

Yesterday's LPOD: A Strange Depression

Tomorrow's LPOD: Licking the Moon

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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