Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Terraced crater on the Moon

Terraced crater on the Moon

Click to view full image

NASA / GSFC / ASU

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.

Caption from the LROC website. Original image: M145855135

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about December 1, 2010

Explore related images: pretty pictures, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Moon, impact cratering

You are here:
Comments & Sharing
More Images
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.

Donate