The Floor of Saha E

Diverse textures on the floor of Saha E on the lunar farside. Image width is 1.08 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The lava-like melt produced by impacts on the Moon can have a variety of morphologies.  The polygonal texture you see here is located on the floor of crater Saha E, a 28 km diameter crater east of Mare Smythii. This texture could be the result of impact melt coating boulders and other deposits on the floor of the crater. From the perspective of exploration planning, impact melt deposits are scientifically interesting because they can be used to age-date impacts. Impact melts can also contain geochemical traces of the original impact, and often contain small fragments of the original pre-impact target rocks. LROC will be providing high-resolution images of many other fresh, relatively undegraded craters to document the complex aftermath of impact events as well as to define targets for future human lunar exploration.

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Published by Brent Garry on 27 October 2009