The Image of the Week for 20th February 2012 featured exploding boulders, discovered by Dr Anthony Cook, in Schiller crater which is located in the southwestern region of the Moon, south of Oceanus Procellarum at coordinates 51.8 S / 40.0 W. This crater is interesting in its own right apart from the exploding boulders!
Schiller crater is one of the most uniquely shaped craters on the Moon and its formation is still a bit of a mystery. It is elongated as if it had been stretched lengthwise at some point but was probably created by a grazing (oblique) impact or is a secondary impact crater. At least one article claims that it was created by a multiple impact, i.e. the impacting object broke up just before hitting the Moon (see Formation of Irregular Craters on the Moon below).
The crater is approximately 180 km in length and 70 km wide.
The image below is an LROC WAC Global 100 meter mosaic draped over the laser altimetry (LOLA) digital elevation model as seen from an imaginary point 65 kilometers over the elongated crater’s southeast.
Credit: NASA/GFSC/Arizona State University
An interesting article about boulders and boulder tracks around the central peak complex of Schiller crater. Some worthwhile images in the article.
LROC: A Recent Journey
Geologic Studies of the Schiller-Schickard Region of the Moon – PDF
Formation of Green Coffee Cup Shaped Irregular Craters on the Moon – PDF
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