June 1, 2017

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Good Night Moon

Originally published October 15, 2007

image by Alan Friedman

In its rebirth image on January 17, 2006, LPOD featured the documentation of a rille that extended off of Plato’s ejecta and across nearby Mare Imbrium. The maria part of the rille was unknown and only now is completely confirmed by another great near-terminator view. I have copied the part of the image with the rille, enhanced it, and placed it at top right. An interesting aspect that was not visible on Wes Higgins’ discovery image is the patch of lighter material to the left of the rille and also around it where it comes off Plato’s ejecta. This could be lavas that overflowed the levees of the rille, but it might be pre-existing lava from another source. Readers may want to download the image and treat it even more extremely to explore this hue. On Wes’ view and Alan’s image a small crater is visible just at the south end of the rille. It is unlikely to be a chance impact, and seems similar to the vents at the head of many sinuous rilles. But that doesn’t seem right, for there is a prominent elongated depression at the north end of the rille that is surely the vent. These two images raise fun questions! I’ve given up on SMART-1, maybe Selene will provide a high resolution orbiter view to help answer them, or maybe another of LPOD’s contributors will fly their virtual spacecraft (i.e. their telescope) over the rille and provide more clues.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
August 4, 2007. Astro-Physics 10″ mak/cassegrain @ f/30 and DMK 41AF02 firewire webcam. Alan titled this image Good Night Moon in honor of the book he read his young daughters hundreds of times!

Related Links:
Rükl chart 3
Alan’s website.

Yesterday's LPOD: Streaks Across a Mauve Moon

Tomorrow's LPOD: 6 Degrees of Separation


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