October 12, 2006

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A Fault and a Gaggle of Domes

image by Richard Bosman, Enschede, Netherlands

The Cauchy area is one of the most fascinating places on the Moon. It includes one of the few major lunar faults, a nearby rille and a high concentration of domes. Richard comments that he can see 13 domes - how many do you count on his wonderful image? Some of the domes are classic hemispheric caps with a central pit, and a few - most obviously Cauchy Omega at the far right - have flattened summits, and Cauchy Tau (left of Omega) has an irregular surface with a small peak. I am intrigued by something I don’t remember seeing before. The rille at the base of the Cauchy Scarp is known - I published a description of it in 1966 - but I was unaware that at its eastern end the rille climbed up the scarp and continued a short distance across the mare. But after seeing it on Richard’s image a check shows that it is also barely visible on the oblique Apollo 8 view. And after a gap, the western end of the rille continues a few kilometers further. As I look at the Apollo and especially Richard’s image I begin to question if the feature I call a rille actually is one, of if it is a smaller fault at the base of the big scarp. Actually, looking closely at the US Geological Survey’s image of the scarp makes it look like the feature is a narrow flat-topped ridge. This is confusing - perhaps someday the SMART-1 image of this area will be released, answering the question.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
280 mm SCT + 3X barlow + ATK-2HS camera + Astron R filter.

Related Links:
Rükl plates ? (don’t have the book with me)
Richard’s website
Paolo’s image of the area

Yesterday's LPOD: A Previously Unimaged Crater

Tomorrow's LPOD: Mercy, Mersenius!


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