March 31, 2008

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Bumps And Channels And Long Mountains

image by Stephen Sharpley, Melbourne, Australia

I love it when great new images are uploaded to the LPOD Photo Gallery, especially when they come from new contributors. That is where I got this view of the Carpathian Mountains bounding the southern edge of Mare Imbrium. I have enlarged and enhanced Stephen's original image to bring out some subtle features. But the first thing to notice is not subtle at all. The Carpathians are lower and more isolated than the Imbrium basin's rim segments at the Apennines and Caucasus. But many of the individual massifs of the Carpathians are also elongated with their long axes radial to Imbrium. Was there a strong blast of ejecta from the center of Imbrium that eroded away part of the Carpathian rim, leaving only aligned blocks? Something similar, but on a smaller scale, is visible around Julius Caesar behind the eastern end of the Apennines. The more subtle features here are the broad flat-topped domes south of the 33 km wide crater Tobias Mayer. This dome-rich area is the northern end of an arc of domes - Domeland - that stretches from Hortensius, pass Milichius to T. Mayer. There is a reason for this dome concentration but no one has figured it out yet. The really subtle features are narrow rilles - the T. Mayer Rille winds along the western side of the dome line, curving around and to the south of a broad dome with an elongated central pit. The fact that the rille bends around the dome shows that the dome was there before the the lava flow erupted that formed the rille. Look closely at the mare just north of the Carpathians and you will see pieces of other delicate rilles and troughs normally only visible in spacecraft images.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
Mar 1, 2008, 19:38 UT. Mewlon 250 + DMK 21AF04.AS + TMB 1.8X barlow + Astronomik G filter

Related Links
Rükl plates 19, 20, 30 & 31

Yesterday's LPOD: Two New/Old CCs

Tomorrow's LPOD: No Fooling



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