Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2012 February 17
Explanation: Aristarchus Plateau is anchored in the vast lava flows of the Moon's Oceanus Procellarum. At the plateau's southeastern edge lies the spectacular Aristarchus Crater, an impact crater 40 kilometres wide and 3 kilometres deep. Scan along this remarkable panorama and you will find yourself gazing directly at the crater's west wall for some 25 kilometres. Features along the terraced wall include dark impact melt and debris deposits, bright excavated material, and boulders over 100 metres wide. At a full resolution of 1.6 metres per pixel, the sharp mosaic was created from images recorded by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's narrow angle camera in November of 2011. The orbiter's vantage point was 70 kilometres east of the crater's centre and only 26 kilometres above the lunar surface.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.