June 23, 2014

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A Lunar King

image by Leo Aerts, Belgium

If lunar craters were medieval people, Tycho would be king of a broad fiefdom. Its regal rays envelope, nay claim, a wide swatch of the visible hemisphere, and the crater itself is a majestic treasure of the first order. What I like of Leo's highly textured, high resolution view is the massive shadow of the central peak, which Leo commented, seemingly floats on a black blanket. There is a blanket here, the ejecta that pelted nearly every square centimeter of the region shown. One possible piece of debris is the 6-7 km long (thank you, QuickMap) bright ridge just east of Tycho. Unfortunately, QuickMap doesn't advance our understanding of this mass, which might simply be a Sun-facing ridge related to the intersection of Tycho's rim deposits with the pre-existing Pictet crater (QuickMap's nomenclature font has been made smaller than it used to be - hard to read). With all the rough terrain it seems a wonder that Surveyor 7, which landed just north of Tycho in January of 1968, didn't hit a big boulder and crash. But looks are deceiving, for even young lunar surface material is relatively smooth at the scale of a lander. But all previous lunar landers were lucky to avoid catastrophy-causing boulders.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
June 6th 2014. Celestron 14", 1.8x barlow, dispersion corrector, redfilter and webcam DMK21AU618.

Related Links
21st Century Atlas chart 15.

Yesterday's LPOD: The View From Sicily

Tomorrow's LPOD: Fake Lava Flows


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