PIA13678: Gassendi's Fractures
Target Name: Moon
Is a satellite of: Earth
Mission: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Spacecraft: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Instrument: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (NAC)
Product Size: 1100 x 1100 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Arizona State University
Other Information: More details and images at LROC
Full-Res TIFF: PIA13678.tif (1.211 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA13678.jpg (190.3 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This intersection of two fractures within the crater Gassendi forms a rough "Y," with boulders concentrated on the northern wall of the intersection. NAC frame M104770486L, image width is 946 meters (3103 feet), incidence angle is 51 degrees.

The crater Gassendi is 110 kilometers (68 miles) in diameter and located on the northern edge of Mare Humorum at 17.5S, 39.9W. Gassendi features an array of intersecting fractures on its floor, collectively known as the Rimae Gassendi. Some of the largest fractures are thousands of meters wide. The origin of these fractures in the floor of Gassendi is not known for certain. After the impact the floor of Gassendi was molten and as it cooled, a crust of solid material formed at the surface. As the entire crater floor continued to cool and settle into its final shape, fractures could have formed due to the forces caused by these changes.

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, 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.

Image Credit:
NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Image Addition Date:
2010-11-04