Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heart of Reiner Gamma

The most familiar lunar "Swirl" phenomena, now associated with a crustal magnetic field, tightly centered near lower right hand part of this Kaguya Terrain Camera image, and field lines measured by Lunar Prospector at 9 nT centered in the distinctive middle of the 30 km wide "eye" of the feature. Two similarly bright arms of the swirl meander hundreds of kilometers toward Hevelius in the southwest and into the domes of Marius Hills hundreds of kilometers to the northeast. This image is one of the best detailed shots of Reiner Γ yet, though at this perspective it's not useful in illustrating the almost non-existence of topography corresponding to the change in albedo, from the dark banding and brighter swirl material. Thanks to Chuck Wood and his always spectacular Lunar Picture of the Day, for keeping a watch on the Japanese language side of the Kaguya Image Gallery [JAXA/SELENE].

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