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LROC: Melt on a Rim

3 May 2012, 18:01 UTC
LROC: Melt on a Rim
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Impact melt started to flow back into the crater cavity before it
solidified. 500 meter field of view on a crater rim near 38.053°N, 53.035°E in the nearside highlands - LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) observation
M170205366L, LRO orbit 10217, September 9, 2011; incidence 41.9° at 0.48 meters resolution, from 40.32 kilometers. View the full size LROC Featured Image HERE [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Lillian Ostrach
LROC News System

So much energy is released when an asteroid or comet slams into the Moon that some of target rock (the Moon) is melted. For large craters, such as Tycho or Copernicus, the impact event responsible for forming these craters was large enough to generate melt that coated and covered the crater floor, and ejected melt pooled and flowed outside the crater cavity. Tycho and Copernicus are typical examples of amazing impact melt deposits, but LROC NAC images show that impact melt is widespread and quite common to lunar impact craters. But don't be fooled into thinking that impact melt will be found only on the crater floor and in impact melt ponds exterior to the crater just because of the Tycho and Copernicus examples - the impact process is dynamic, ...

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