The Moon Zoo forum has elected this curious portion of the Moon’s surface as the 2010 Moon Zoo Image of the Year. Named Ina, this puzzling lunar feature may be the result of fairly recent volcanic activity (millions rather than billions of years old) with two distinct types of terrain: rough jagged rubble-like brighter areas and smoother, darker mounds. No-one knows for certain what caused these two different types of terrain but one view is that it is the result of a “recent” gaseous outburst which has removed part of the top layer of regolith.
The Moon is full of odd and peculiar features and it is fitting that Ina has been elected the favourite so far. The Moon Zoo forum and this blog have become places to discuss just such odd features. So congratulations to the Moon Zoo community on an amazing first year – and may we find many more ‘Ina’s in the future.
If you want to learn more about Ina, you can read an excellent NASA article explaining more about it.