Friday, May 14, 2010

LOLA: Einstein & Einstein A

A Study in Crater Morphology. Einstein (16.6°N, 271.5°E) and nestled within Einstein A. Laser Altimetry from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on-board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter [NASA/GSFC].

LOLA-GSFC Image of the Week - May 14, 2010: Located on the far western limb of the Moon, Einstein and Einstein A (16.6°N, 271.5°E ) are only visible to Earth-bound observers during the rare favorable libration.

Einstein A is younger than Einstein, as indicated by the fact that it lies squarely in the middle of the Einstein's floor. Viewed an topographic data, these two craters reveal much about the relative age and shape of an impact crater.

To understand further, let's first take a look at Einstein. Einstein is a fairly large crater that spans 198 kilometers across. A crater's size alone however cannot reveal much about age. Einstein's relative age can be determined by examining the frequency and distribution of impact craters overprinted on its rim and floor. Younger craters have fewer such impact counts, so they retain more original morphology.

As you may have already guessed, Einstein cluster craters are named after physicist, philosopher and scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

+ Go to LOLA "Image of the Week" Collection.

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