Sunday, December 20, 2009

Far Side Delights

Moon Sheep. Huge boulders seem to have been herded together on the rim of a small and very weathered crater near the northeastern rim of Far Side Hertzsprung basin, south of a line stretched between craters Weyl and Fersman. It's a small far-flung corner in one of 786 images released to the Planetary Data System (PDS) on Friday. Part of an informal test by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team that includes data from images taken during the commissioning of the Narrow-Angle Camera (NAC) survey, Orbits 318 - 354 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Square Peg - Another small corner from one of two images among the raw 786 LROC PDS test shots that is unambiguously taken from the deep interior of Mare Orientale. This one, from Orbit 318, is of the chaotic transition between the huge volume of slumped landslide material from the interior basin walls and the basalt-filled middle interior; very near the western side of Hohmann (~264.82E°-17.65°S; Sunrise to the left, f=74.3°) [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Little House on the Prairie? (Not) - It's the anomalies that catch the eye on first glance. Since the Sun was from the right (f=72.29°) when LRO's NAC shot sequence M102951844R not far from Comstock and well on the Moon's Far Side (~239°E, 20°N) the odd feature is concave rather than convex, indicating an ancient slump of upper material collapsing into a fault of indeterminate scope and origin [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

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