LROC Explores Aristarchus Crater

leave a comment »

Space probe gets up close to lunar crater that is two miles deep and so huge it can be seen from Earth with the naked eye

  • Orbiter flies past just 16.2 miles up
  • Images of crater twice as deep as Grand Canyon
  • Shows layers of minerals like strip mines on Earth

Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over the moon at just 16.2 miles up to capture shots of the huge Aristarchus crater on the moon - a feature so massive it's visible to the naked eye, created when a huge comet or asteroid slammed into a plateau on the surface

Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over at just 16 miles up, just over twice the height that jets fly on Earth - twice as low as the orbiter normally flies. The cliffs of Aristarchus are more than two miles high - twice as deep as the Grand Canyon

The ledges forming the wall of the crater, which look a lot like those of a strip mine, are blocks of surface rocks that slumped into the crater during the late stages of its formation

This Hubble colour composite focuses on the Aristarchus impact crater, and uses colour information across the ultraviolet and infrared to accentuate differences between minerals

Pyroclastic beads (volcanic glasses formed during fire-fountain style eruptions similar to those of Stromboli or the Hawaiian Islands) that blanket the area around the crater have slid down parts of the walls in dark streaks and clumps

Read more:

Written by physicsgg

January 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: