November 8, 2012

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Linné Hype

video from NASA

NASA Goddard has released another video to bring lunar science to the public. This video says that the very fresh lunar crater Linné should be a model for the "before" appearance of impact craters on Earth and Mars. On these two planets weather modifies craters, eroding their rims and filling their floors with debris from various sources.The video points out that Linné does not agree with the standard conception of a fresh lunar crater as bowl-shaped, therefore comparisons with eroded craters can be improved if this new cone model is used. Actually, nearly everyone who has looked at Clementine, LRO or even high quality Consolidated Lunar Atlas prints knows that many fresh craters have small flat floors, not exactly bowl-shaped but darn close to it. This particular suggestion that we have had the wrong model for simple craters but it has now been corrected is another example of claiming that a particular space mission has taught us something vastly new and important. LRO is a tremendously successful mission and yet over-inflated promotional material like this appears - why?

Chuck Wood

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