Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Aristarchus follow-up

Aristarchus in one sweep, an orbital swath ultimately stitched into a four-orbit mosaic, shows one of the most photographed of the complex lunar craters in unusually muted tones. Because Aristarchus is unusually bright, the reason it is most often cited as the reported location of Transitory Lunar Phenomena, fast LROC low-orbit photography allows an unwashed-out appreciation of its topographic detail. Full-width strip of LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) observation M162622850CE, (604nm), LRO orbit 9099, June 13, 2011; resolution 56.85 meters at a morning angle of incidence of 79° from 40.77 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Strip from the four sequential LROC WAC orbital observations mosaic shows young Aristarchus nested on the southeastern heights of Aristarchus plateau, together with the Cobra Head and much older, mare-flooded companion Herodotus to the west. The youngest mare surface on the Moon yet identified, estimated to be a mere 1.1 billion years old, is situated at the southern end of this field of view. Despite it's relative youth, that surface is older than Copernican-age Aristarchus, so the crater cannot be its source [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
A full-resolution crop from a full-disk 33 image mosaic of the Moon, September 25, 2008, shows Aristarchus and its plateau at local late afternoon [Astronominsk].
Southside, Aristarchus crater (December 25, 2012)
Oblique Narrow Angle on Aristarchus Cobra Head (October 9, 2012)
Debris Channels (August 8, 2012)

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