September 11, 2012

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Unlucky in Location

LRO images from LRO QuickMap, NASA/ASU

Some people are unlucky in love; this crater was unlucky in location. When Peter Rosén was processing his excellent shot of Copernicus and environs he noticed this truncated crater on the LRO QuickMap. The 3.4 km wide crater is being consumed by the flanks of an unnamed mountain about halfway between Euler and the western end of the Carpathians in western Imbrium. Presumably the crater formed near the mountain as a perfectly round crater. But either the Moon shakes associated with its formation, or an acccumulation of later tremors caused material to slide down the face of the mountain and spread a little over the surrounding terrain and the unlucky crater's rim. Such material is called talus and it forms by mass movement on Earth, Mars, and Titan as well as the Moon - and probably Mercury and Venus. Gravity doesn't suck, it pulls relentlessly so that material on slopes moves downhill. Looking closely, the talus does extend further into the crater than in other directions, suggesting that the impact of the crater caused its on partial burial.

Chuck Wood

Related Links
Rükl plate 20

Yesterday's LPOD: Explanation?

Tomorrow's LPOD: Lost in Space


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