March 11, 2006

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Bond's Back!

image by European Space Agency (ESA)

SMART-1, the little ion drive European spacecraft that has been orbiting the Moon since November, 2004, has released only eleven lunar images, and this is the very best. It shows under low lighting the crater Christian Mayer, lower right, and the eastern half of W. Bond, both northeast of Plato across the Frigoris gulf. The rubble on the floor of Bond and elsewhere is debris from the formation of the Imbrium basin, as is the darker and smooth material. Pre-Imbrium craters here were heavily damaged by the storm of Imbrium ejecta, and low parallel ridges near the top of the mosaic suggest that some of the debis flowed across the surface. The best telescopic image of this area shows all but the most delicate of these details, including the unusual rille cutting the floor of Bond. With this image SMART-1 has finally proven its worth. I hope there are many thousands of other images coming soon. Finally, note the unstated compliment paid LPOD in the last paragraph of the official ESA press release where there is a slightly reworded version of the interpretation published in LPOD on Feb 14!

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Feb 5 & 6, 2006. Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment camera.
Related Links:
Rükl charts 4 & 5

Yesterday's LPOD: The Moon is not Green Cheese

Tomorrow's LPOD: Volcanism in the Southern Highlands?


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