New Crater!

New Crater!
Four different NAC images of crater (18 meter diameter) formed on the Moon, 17 March 2013, each scene is 560 meters wide, north is up [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring Program monitors the Moon from a dedicated telescope facility at Marshal Space Flight Center for Meteoroid Impacts. Since 2005 the Marshall group recorded over 300 flashes(assumed to be meteoroid impacts), their brightest recorded flash occurred on 17 March 2013 with coordinates 20.7135°N, 335.6698°E. Since then LRO passed over the flash site and the NAC imaged the surrounding area; a new 18 meter (59 feet) diameter crater was found by comparing images taken before and after the March date.

New Crater Animation
LROC NAC before and after images of Marshall 17 March impact event. The newly formed crater is 18 meters (59 feet) in diameter [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

This is not the first new impact crater the LROC team has found, nor will it be the last! Hundreds of changes to the surface appear in NAC temporal pairs, the LROC team is systematically searching this growing set of before/after images and results were presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting last week, and more is coming in the near future.


Revisit a previous LROC post showing new craters on the Moon formed by natural processes. Also note that new craters on the Moon were also formed by spacecraft impacts (Ranger, Apollo SIV-B, GRAIL), see a summary of LROC Featured Images on this topic.

Published by Mark Robinson on 14 December 2013