Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Moon's lowest of the low

Newly-released (Nov. 6) Kaguya Terrain Camera image of an as yet unnamed crater (70.7 S, 186.6 E) wherein rests the Moon's lowest elevation (-9060 meters, below global mean). Apparently warped after formation, perhaps by the intrusion of an inundating flood of mare material from below, this otherwise unremarkable crater stands out inside 143 km-wide Antoniadi - itself within the vast South Pole-Aitken Basin. From this low profile, similar to HDTV video captured shortly before the guided impact of Japan's first lunar orbiter, data making up this image may have been collected very late in the historic mission.

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