September 13, 2013

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Another Small Mystery

image by Ricardo Jose Vaz Tolentino

Recently, Maximilian Teodorescu recognized what might be a shallow crater in southern Oceanus Procellarum, and now Ricardo has found another possible one in the northern part of the same ocean. Using one of his single shot images, Ricardo has outlined the area of the possible crater between the famous Gruithuisen domes and the even more famous Aristarchus Plateau. Using the LRO Quickmap elevation tool he deduced that the crater is about 8.5 km wide, 130 m deep and centered at 32.3980*N, 42.7580*W. Like Max's possible crater this one is bounded on one side by a mare ridge, which makes determination of its reality harder. Is it an impact crater that happens to be near a ridge, and partially covered by lava flows? Or is the ridge flanked by a low trough that makes a crater feature appear where none exist? LRO provides two kinds of support for the reality of this feature. First, Ricardo ran traverses both north-south and east-west, getting the same type of closed depression topography. Second, enlarging the LRO mosaic to see the NAC shots - left - reveals two very low elevation curved ridges that are in the right place to be the curved rim of a buried crater. For this type of feature we may never be certain what it is, but a buried crater seems like a likely possibility.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
05/22/2013, 01:45:18 UT.

Related Links
21st Century Atlas chart 21.
Rukl's Atlas of the Moon: chart 9 (shows the above described depression!).
Times Atlas of the Moon: chart 15 (it too shows that depression).

Yesterday's LPOD: 40 Years Later

Tomorrow's LPOD: Farside 50 - Almost


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