October 13, 2011
Super Ghost Crater?
image by Ricardo José Vaz Tolentino, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Ricardo has a habit of acquiring images that have just the right Sun angle to hint at obscure features. In this single image he captures a possible ghost crater near the southern shore of Mare Serenitatis. The feature appears to have a nearly perfect circular outline with a central peak, and it interupts the mare ridges that parallel the edge of the mare. Because of the high illumination the putative ghost is defined only by minor albedo markings. This hasn't been commented on before and it isn't clear that it is real. But it is in a position, near the edge of the basin where the mare lavas are thin, where craters formed on earlier surfaces of the basin may be covered but not completely buried. I haven't found a good enough image that shows this area under low illumination to investigate the nature of this feature. Multiple mare ridges define part of the posssible rim but there may be other unexplained pieces, and the beautifully placed central hill seems isolated from the ridges. We need additional images at different illuminations before an interpretation can be convincingly presented.
SkyWatcher 12" DOB + Celestron Ultima 2 X Barlow + ORION StarShoot Solar System Color Imager II, just one frame.
Rükl plate 24
Vaz Tolentino Observatório Lunar
Yesterday's LPOD: Shadowrama
Tomorrow's LPOD: Moiré Eye