A bottleneck at the start of the lunar sinuous rille within Vallis Alpes formed several morphologic features including (from left to right) a lava pond, a breached dam, and an island in the rille. Image width is 3.3 km, image resolution is 1.68 m/pixel.
Vallis Alpes (Alpine Valley) is a spectacular linear valley along the northeastern edge of the Imbrium impact basin. It is easily visible in amateur telescopes. The floor of the valley was flooded by mare basalts that host a sinuous rille which stretches for more than 150 km.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center built and manages the mission for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera was designed to acquire data for landing site certification and to conduct polar illumination studies and global mapping. Operated by Arizona State University, the LROC facility is part of the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE). LROC consists of a pair of narrow-angle cameras (NAC) and a single wide-angle camera (WAC). The mission is expected to return over 70 terabytes of image data.