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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Terraced crater on the Moon

Filed under pretty pictures, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Moon, impact cratering

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Terraced crater on the Moon This crater has an unusual floor for its size. An impact crater of this size typically has a simple bowl shape, yet this example displays terraces and hummocks. The terraces give us insight into the impact material. A bolide that impacts a solid surface covered by loose material, for example mare covered by regolith, will use less of its energy to break up the loose material than solid material. The "excess" energy goes into excavating more material thus making for a larger diameter. Thus we see terrace at the boundary between the regolith and underlying more coherent material. The fact that the crater has no bright rays indicates that it is old - its rays have weathered into the background.

NASA / GSFC / ASU

Caption from the LROC website. Original image: M145855135

Public domain

This image is in the public domain. Original image data dated on or about December 1, 2010

 

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