In January 2013, Moon Zoo user jaroslavp posted some interesting images in the Interesting terrain thread.
The images are from the base of the North Massif feature, close to where the Apollo 17 astronauts landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley. This image gives an overview of the NAC image from which the other images were taken (Note: North is at the bottom!):
The following images are from the marked area.
This image shows two areas with irregular boundaries – I can’t imagine what sort of process formed them.
NAC: M162107606RE Latitude = 20.2 Longitude = 30.7
Close to the previous image is this area showing odd striations and cross-hatching on the surface, possibly caused by entrained debris flow from an impact event. This may also explain the strange features in the previous image. The impact event that created the Serenitatis Basin may have been the event responsible.
Jules recently posted an Image of the Week about the Taurus-Littrow valley which has a great overview image showing the North and South Massifs: Moon landing at 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.
Challenger landed on the lunar surface at 19:48 GMT on 11 December 1972.
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
The view from Challenger’s window (click to enlarge)
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
The Taurus–Littrow valley was chosen because of its geologically varied terrain. The crew were hoping to collect different soils, relatively young lavas which filled the valley floor and older crustal material from the North and South Massifs. Several large boulders had rolled down the massifs providing additional sampling opportunities.
Forum regular kodemunkey has written this week’s Image of the Week . This time he has chosen to highlight the Taurus Littrow region which 40 years ago was the landing site of Apollo 17.
Hello again moon fans. Today I will be showing you some of the sites (but no sounds) of the Taurus Littrow valley, made famous for a short while as the last place that some puny little hairless apes decided to visit for a short while.
The valley is named (perhaps unsurprisingly) due to it being in the Taurus mountain range and south of Littrow crater. Some of the other landing sites that were considered were Tycho crater, which was rejected due to the rough terrain found there. Copernicus crater was seen as a low priority, and Tsiolkovsky crater on the far side was also considered, but later rejected due to the additional cost of having to put communication satellites in orbit.
Apollo 17 landing site, imaged by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
The reason for Apollo 17 landing here, was so they could sample older material which makes up the area, and fresher material, which was ejected from the impact that created Tycho crater.
What else is there to see in the area?
Amongst all the craters and rocks in the area, I have found a few interesting sites and I hope they inspire you to explore the area yourself.
This rather interesting rille edge:
And this is my favourite find, particularly so because I don’t think it’s been documented here yet:
Sources: Nasa, Wikpedia and WMS Image Browser