Archive | January 2013

Flying over Taurus-Littrow

The LRO took many images of the Apollo 17 landing site at Taurus-Littrow. Here is a glorious oblique “spaceship-eye” view of the Sculptured Hills and massifs surrounding the landing site taken from from M1096343661R and L. The position of the Lunar Module is marked on the second image.


Two NAC images have been stitched together and the aspect ratio tweaked to around 4:1. (click image for larger version.)

Can you find the Moon?

A puzzle for you this week. Can you tell the difference between a moon, a planet and minor planet? Below are images of craters on our Moon, Vesta and Mercury but which is which? Superficially very similar but there are differences. Click on the letters below for links to reveal the answers.

Don’t peek until you have had a guess!

a  b  c

Proclus lava flow

I was exploring Proclus crater recently and spotted a diamond-shaped flow of lava in the south-western region which is shown below.

Proclus crater is about 28km in diameter and is one of the brightest craters on the Moon, second only to Aristarchus. It has a bright ray system which is asymmetric, probably caused by a shallow-angle impact.


NAC strip: M104211600RC Overview of lava flow.


Edge of lava flow showing cracks, melt pools and boulder erosion.

‘Incoming!’ LPOD lunar photo of the day, 31 Jan 2006

Has a good overview of the creation of Proclus crater and its asymmetric ray system.

Two views of Rupes Recta

Sketching the Moon is an ancient and still widely practised art. It requires patience and plenty of time and must be an excellent way to familiarise yourself with the lunar terrain. Cameras are very good at picking up subtle detail and shading missed by the human eye but the advantage of a drawing is that it is a faithful representation of what you can actually see through the eyepiece.  For this week’s Image of the Week I have borrowed the most recent LPOD (Lunar Picture of the Day), a drawing of Rupes Recta (the straight wall) in Mare Nubium at 22.1°S 7.8°W . This 110 km long linear rille is 240-300 m high and 2.5 km wide. Although not very steep the rille casts a dramatic shadow when illuminated by a low Sun.

Rupes recta, and craters Birt, Thebit, Thebit A and Thebit L. Both images have been rotated so that south is up.

Frank McCabe’s drawing using a
13.1” f/6 Dobsonian telescope

LRO view
from ACT-REACT Quick Map

The LROC image was taken at a much higher illumination angle but lunar features clearly match and the amount of detail in the drawing is remarkable. In these images the trio of overlapping craters Thebit, Thebit A and Thebit L are to the left of Rupes Recta and Birt crater is to the right.