Astronomy Picture of the Day



Plato and the Lunar Alps

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#84589 by @ 12.02.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Plato and the Lunar Alps


Explanation:

The dark-floored, 95 kilometer wide crater Plato (top) and
sunlit peaks
of the lunar Alps are highlighted in this
sharp digital mosaic of the
Moon's
surface
.

While the Alps
of planet Earth were uplifted over millions of
years as continental plates slowly collided, the lunar Alps were likely
formed by a sudden collision that created the giant
impact
basin
known as the Mare Imbrium
(Sea of Rains).

The mare's generally smooth, lava-flooded floor is seen
extending to the left.

The prominent straight feature cutting through the mountain range (lower
right) is the lunar Alpine Valley,
about 160 kilometers long and up to 10 kilometers wide.

Of course, the large, bright
alpine
mountain
near bottom center is named
Mont Blanc
and reaches over 3 kilometers above the lunar surface.

Lacking an atmosphere, not to mention snow,
the lunar Alps are probably not an ideal site for the Winter
Olympic
Games.

Still, a 150 pound skier
would
weigh
a mere 25 pounds
on
the Moon
.




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