Crater rim of Flamsteed P

Boundary of buried crater rim and mare basalt at Flamsteed P crater. Illumination is from right, incidence angle is 60°, image width is 500m [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Today's Featured Image displays a portion of eastern rim of Flamsteed P crater, located in southern Oceanus Procellarum. The rough and darker right side corresponds to the rim slope, and the brighter and smoother area to the left is the younger mare basalt. Flamsteed P's interior was mostly filled by mare basalts and all that remains are portions of its rim showing as discontinuous ridges (see WAC context image below).

In terms of local timeline of events (geochronology), following the formation of Flamsteed P, mare basalt flooded its interior and exterior. Later a small crater (110 m diameter) formed just at the boundary between the mare and crater rim (bottom of today's Featured Image). This small crater is half covered by the older rim unit. Does this make sense? Even though the small crater is much younger than the Flamsteed P rim it is buried by rim materials that slid downhill after the crater formed. What cause the regolith to move? Perhaps moonquakes generated by internal stresses or nearby impact events. Or perhaps a slower process of downhil creep caused by thermal cycling of the regolith (soil). We have much to learn about the Moon - the next frontier!

Whole view of Flamsteed P crater. Yellow cross and blue box indicate the locations of today's Featured Image and NAC frame. Image center location is 3.15°S,315.96°E, LROC WAC mosaic at 100 m/pixel overlaid by LROC WAC DTM 500 m/pixel [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The topographic color was produced as a by-product of stereo analysis of the WAC global dataset. Producing the global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a big job being led by LROC team members at the German Aerospace Center (DLR; English version) in Berlin.

Explore the boundary of mare basalts by viewing the full NAC frame!

Related posts:

Archimedes - Mare Flooded Crater!, Wrinkle Ridges in Aitken Crater!, Volcanoes in Lacus Mortis, Relative Timing of Geologic Events in Mare Frigoris

Published by Hiroyuki Sato on 6 April 2011