May 24, 2006

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Euclides Region

Monted Riphaeus
image by Gerardo Sbarufatti

I love lunar landscapes that are rarely imaged, and this is one. At center left are the arcs of the Riphaeus Mountains and to their right is Mare Cognitum, the Known Sea. Known because it was the area revealed by the first American high res imaging of the Moon. I remember the thrill of seeing the Ranger 7 images as they came down live, and later when Gerard Kuiper (the Ranger program science leader and the Director of the Lunar Lab where I worked) showed us the detailed images. I think Kuiper would be honored with the 7 km wide crater bearing his name at the bottom right side of this image, but his arrogance would probably make him long for a larger one. The main arc of the Riphaeus is presumably the remnant of a large (200 km?) ruined crater - I wonder if the short linear mare ridge marks a buried central mountain? At the top left of this image, just east-southeast of Lansberg D, is a relatively low dome 8-9 km wide, and touching it is one the same size but even flatter. And near that is a similar swelling surrounding a tiny peak. This progression suggests that relatively normal domes are closely related to the swells often associated with isolated peaks.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
9 Jan 2006, 20:207 UT. 8″ SCT Celestron + 2X Barlow + KamPro02 camera + 5,500 red filter; 400 stacked images. I have strongly enhanced Gerardo’s image (making it look noisy at the terminator), his original is smoother.

Related Links:
Rükl sheets 41 & 42
Gerard Kuiper
Ranger 7

Yesterday's LPOD: Silly Names

Tomorrow's LPOD: Sideways Slam


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