Astronomy Picture of the Day



Aristarchus Plateau

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#104864 by @ 01.12.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Aristarchus Plateau


Explanation:

Anchored in the vast lava flows of the Moon's
Oceanus Procellarum lies the
Aristarchus
Plateau
.

The bright
impact crater at the corner of the plateau is
Aristarchus,
a young crater
42 kilometers wide and 3 kilometers deep.

Only slightly smaller,
lava flooded Herodotus crater is above and to the left.

A valley or rille feature likely carved by rapidly flowing lava
or a collapsed lava tunnel,
Vallis
Schroteri
begins just to the right of
Herodotus and winds across the plateau for about 160 kilometers,
eventually turning toward the top of the picture.

Aristarchus Plateau itself is like a rectangular island
about 200 kilometers across, raised up to 2 kilometers or so
above the smooth surface of the lunar
Ocean of Storms.

Recorded
from a backyard observatory in
Buffalo, New York, the contrast of light-colored ejecta
around
Aristarchus

with surrounding dark, smooth, lava flooded surfaces
suggests more familiar
snowy scenes of
planet Earth.




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