Western floor of Giordano Bruno crater. LROC NAC M110919730L, 0.61 m/pixel, image width is about 737 m. Illumination is from the lower right, incidence angle is 42°.
This image from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) looks like a parched Arizona mudflat after a monsoon downpour. Not quite! You are looking at the broken surface of an impact melt pond inside Giordano Bruno crater. A surface crust fragmented into angular blocks up to about 40 meters in width as still molten rock was drained from beneath a hardening crust. The small clusters of relatively bright rock fragments are likely boulders that rolled down from the nearby steep walls.
|Click on image for larger version|
|Context map around Giordano Bruno crater. Image center is 36.09°N, 102.83°E. LROC WAC 100 m/pix mosaic. Blue box at the image center corresponds to the footprint of today's featured NAC image|
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.