PIA14423: How did I form?
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: 1000 x 1000 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Arizona State University
Other Information: More details and images at LROC
Full-Res TIFF: PIA14423.tif (1.001 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA14423.jpg (80.92 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Small fresh crater in Palitzsch B, with a shape and ejecta pattern typical of an oblique impact. North is up, image width is 500 m, LROC NAC M154785423R.

Low angle, or oblique, impacts usually have asymmetric ejecta and form oblong craters. The typical "butterfly" ejecta pattern requires an angle of less than 15 from horizontal. This crater is quite unusual. Look closely to the south, do you see a positive relief feature? Again look north, up or down? Light is coming from the upper left, if you rotate the image 180 you might have an easier time seeing the topography correctly. Is this an oblique impact? Perhaps not, it appears an impact occurred between two boulders effecting the crater shape and ejecta pattern. This crater formed on the downhill slope of a large crater terrace. The two boulders are likely part of the slumped wall and served to deflect the ejecta mimicking the oblique impact butterfly pattern.

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:
2011-04-18