The White Rings of Marius

Forum member kodemunkey’s recent excursion around the Marius region threw up some interesting questions.  Over to kodemunkey to tell us why…

The Marius Hills are one of my favourite spots on the moon (as anyone who keeps an eye on the “Black Stuff” thread will attest to  :D)

Besides being host to a sinkhole, twenty rilles and two hundred and fifty volcanoes (count ’em if you want :P) and a the bulk of my ‘Black Stuff’ finds, what else is there to see?

Click the first two images to view in full size.
Marius Hills (North is up.)


Marius Hills Sinkhole

Well, there’s these:

They cover the entire region and are quite noticeable in the NAC strips even at the lowest zoom levels, most of them have a high albedo,and others look very old. Having said that, I went looking for these rings elsewhere on the near side, and have found them as far down as the area incorporating Gassendi, Dopplemayer, Pulseux and Leibig craters.

I then turned my attention to the far side, particularly Tsiolkovsky Crater and the Apollo Basin. Perhaps a little disappointingly I didn’t find any there.

Questions:

1: Why such a high albedo, especially since the area is so old?
2:Why so many in comparison to somewhere like Mare Tranquilatis?
3: Is this only a near side phenomenon?

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About juleswilkinson

Citizen scientist and volunteer. Forum moderator for the Milky Way Project, Solar Stormwatch, Science Gossip and Shakespeare's World. Owner of 3 telescopes, a dog and a meteorite.

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