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December 19, 2006

A GRAY DAY

Filed under: , — chuckwood @ 12:01 am

Taylor_LPOD.jpg
image by Carmelo Zannelli

Nearly a year ago Carmelo provided LPOD a low Sun image of Delambre (top center), and now he complements it with a high Sun view whose purposely gray monotone reminds me of the 100 year old Paris Observatory prints of the Moon. This is an area that seems to be infrequently imaged - a reason I like it - and shows a number of odd features. The bottom third is speckled with apparent small secondary craters but I am not sure of the primary; was it Theophilus? And the left of center crater Taylor is seen to be strangely modified. The inner wall is rounded and smooth, with apparent continuity between material inside the crater and beyond its southern rim. Another variant of this occurs at the more degraded crater Zollner near the bottom center. What is left of its southern rim is plastered by smooth material with a striated surface. The deposits on these crater rims and widely distributed across this scene is probably ejecta from the Imbrium basin formation that arrived ballistically and then flowed across the surface. Most of the surface here is older than Imbrium, with 21 km wide Alfraganus (center) and a few other crisp craters being younger. And what of the smooth material southwest of Taylor? Is it also younger than Imbrium or is it simply another type of basin ejecta from the catastrophic event?

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
10 Oct 2006, 00:41UT. 280mm SCT @ ~7500 mm + Lumenera Infinity 2-1 M camera + IR cut-off filter; 240 of 1220 stacked frames.
Related Links:
R√ľkl chart 46
Lunar Orbiter IV view

3 Comments »

  1. Terrific image Carmelo. I can see things here that I haven’t seen before and with Chucks explanation find it even more fascinating. Its hard to imagine the forces that would drive ejecta horizontally so that it acts almost like a liquid, flowing and forming parallel ridges under low gravity. I especially like the convergence of the two curved ridges south of Taylors rim, you can imagine the ejecta channeling into the gap in the rim and spilling onto the crater floor (if I’m interpreting this correctly). Also, what is that dark ring around what looks like two close craterlets just south west of Taylors peak?

    Regards,
    Stefan

    Comment by slammel — December 19, 2006 @ 10:14 am

  2. Hi,
    In regards to the smooth material southwest of Taylor, you must be referring to the Cayley Formation. The Apollo 16 Base is in the lower left corner of the photo and the junction of the Cayley and the Descarts Formations are nicely shown as well. Perhaps Apollo 16 did not find as many answers as we would like.
    Thanks,
    Howard

    Comment by Howard E — December 19, 2006 @ 10:38 am

  3. The usual Carmelo…. one of the best lunar photo that I have seen.
    Very good.

    Comment by Piero — December 19, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

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