June 11, 2014
A Mountainous Shadow
image by Raf Lena, Italia
I love images near the terminator because of the subtle topography they reveal. In this case we graphically see what altimetry profiles have said earlier, but a picture is much more influential than a graph line. West of Aristarchus Crater is the Cobra Head, the source vent - a depression - of the lavas that carved Schröter's Valley. But what has been glimpsed from time to time and documented with the LRO QuickMap altimetry tool is that the Cobra Head is a deep depression on the side of a massive mountain. Raf's image shows a wide and long shadow that emphasizes the height and shape of the Cobra Mountain. The LRO altimetry shows that the mountain is 40 km wide and 2 km high. This fact was recognized in a previous LPOD based on Maurice Collins' early processing of low-Sun LRO images. Millions of dollars for a spacecraft and teams of data processors, or one amateur with a 7" backyard telescope.
June 9 2014, 20:12 UT. Mak-Cass 18 cm
21st Century Atlas chart 28.
Yesterday's LPOD: LPD Confirmed in Australia
Tomorrow's LPOD: HDR Eyes