August 4, 2021
Short Note On a Small Crater
Originally published December 16, 2011
LRO image (left) and Apollo 17 photo of Shorty Crater from LRO Featured Image with annotations by LROC PI Mark Robinson.
The two white arrows mark the orange soil in the trench and the boulder in the Apollo image, and the words Color Pan show
where the Apollo image was taken.
Shorty Crater is one of the most famous small craters on the Moon. It is a dark halo crater, and back in the days when Apollo 17 was being planned, dark halo craters were all believed to be volcanic so there was excitement that Apollo 17 would sample a new type of explosive volcanism. Astronaut Schmitt did discover the famous orange soil at Shorty Crater that is indeed volcanic, the result of explosive eruptions. But Shorty isn't a volcanic crater, it is an impact crater that formed 19 million years ago, excavating 3.7 billion year old volcanic ash from below surface lavas. Mark Robinson has written more about these two images here.
Rükl plate 25
Yesterday's LPOD: Tracing Back the Rays
Tomorrow's LPOD: Puncturing the Sky