September 20, 2008

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A Visit To Copernicus?

image by Paolo R. Lazzarotti, Massa, Italy

Various science-fiction stories about the Moon include a visit to Copernicus. Part of the reason is that it is a dramatic and well-known crater and the view from the rim top would be spectacular. But this small piece of a new mosaic by Paolo makes me wonder how easy it would be to travel overland and up the rim of the 93 km wide crater. With the low Sun illumination it appears that most of the terrain 50-75 km out is irregular. There are radial ridges (10 o'clock position), secondary crater chains, and thousands of lumpy hills. Many of the features are small, but they would all have to be climbed over or skirted. And because Copernicus is a young crater (about 900 million years old - the dinosaurs hadn't even been invented yet on Earth) there should be fresh blocks of the size that Neil Armstrong had to avoid when landing Apollo 11. It may be that the safest way to visit Copernicus' rim, is to land there!

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
May 14, 2008, 19:10 to 19:37 UT. Gladius CF-315 Lazzarotti Opt. Scope + LVI-1392 PRO Experimental camera + Edmund Optics R filter; 90/2000 frames.

Related Links
Rükl plate 31
Paolo's website

Yesterday's LPOD: Bright Mapping

Tomorrow's LPOD: A New Look


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