November 21, 2016

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A Mystery Crater

Originally published January 3, 2007


image by Damian Peach

During his epic observing sessions in Jamaica last spring Damian relentlessly imaged the Moon and planets, and he is still processing the files. When this interesting image came out of the processing pipeline its identification was a mystery. Take a look, can you recognize it or see clues that would help place it? First, it is elliptical so it's near the limb. Its orientation - unless the camera was rotated - is nearly horizontal, so it's probably near a pole. The south pole is very rugged and this isn’t, so probably it's near the north pole. This supposition is supported by the rubbly textured surface which looks like the Imbrium ejecta that we’ve seen on a recent LPOD. But it's not a crater on that LPOD image or any other one. It's hard to identify because it has probably never been imaged from Earth before. The crater is Hermite, located at 86.0°N and 89.9°W and 104 km in diameter. Hermite has become famous recently because its rim is one of the few places near the North Pole that is illuminated by the Sun significantly more than 50% of each month, and hence might be a good site for a future solar power station. And part of the southern inner wall is also in permanent darkness and could hold volatiles in cold traps. Finally, do you see the bright rim beyond Hermite? It belongs to Lovelace at 106°W, whose southernwall may also harbor frozen volatiles.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
19 April, 2006. C14 @ F41. Lumenera Skynyx 2.0M.

Related Links:
Rükl chart 4 & I
Damian’s website

Yesterday's LPOD: LPOD Enters Year Four!

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Little Clavius


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