Thursday, March 17, 2011

LOLA: Plaskett of the Far North

At 109 km in diameter, north polar farside crater Plaskett (81.8°N, 176.5°E) displays the morphology of a typical complex crater. For example, both a central peak and terraced crater walls can be seen in Plaskett. Its central peak formed during the impact process when material at depth below the crater floor rebounded due to the excavation of the crust and resulting release in pressure.

Central peaks are interesting to scientists because they provide a glimpse of what lies deep below the lunar surface. LOLA data can be used to study the morphology and depth of craters like Plaskett in unprecedented detail, and in so doing, increase our understanding of the impact process.

Japan's lunar orbiter SELENE-1 ("Kaguya") returned famous HDTV orbital earthset and earthrise sessions in November 2008. Coming up over the Moon's north polar latitudes, Kaguya captured this spectacular natural color view of Earth rising into view over Plaskett, along with the long shadows of the crater's central peak region, even at just after mid-day in the Moon's far north [JAXA/NHK].

1 comment:

finkh said...

200 meter per pixel data from LOLA.