Rima Calippus in northwest Mare Serenitatis, boulders on the larger branch are possibly outcrop waiting to be sampled. LROC NAC M102078117, image width is 1600 meters.
Rima Calippus is a sinuous rille located in northwest Mare Serenitatis at 37° N, 12° E. Sinuous rilles are thought to be volcanic features carved out by flowing lava. Because the lava is so much hotter than the rock it is flowing on, it will start to cut down and form a channel. If the eruption rate is high enough, the lava can undergo turbulent flow, creating even more efficient thermal erosion and create even deeper channels.
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|Context image of Rima Calippus within Mare Serenitatis. The large crater in the image is Calippus crater, the namesake for the rille. Arrow shows the location of the NAC image. Image width is 100 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, 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.