Tuesday, July 17. 2012
LROC has captured many sensational views of the crater Giordano Bruno (35.9°N, 102.8°E). We return again and again to this rayed beauty because it is a nearly pristine example of the effects of impacts on the lunar surface. It displays an immense ejecta blanket with beautiful secondary craters and is an excellent illustration of how rocks melted by impacts flow and pond. The crater also exposes fresh highland material, with minimal effects from space weathering. Today's Featured Image, captured by slewing the spacecraft 79° to the east, provides another sensational view that helps us understand the impact process, and until astronauts visit Giordano Bruno, gives a view about as close as you can get to standing on the surface to the west of the crater.
In the detail above, you can see the crater's steep wall and a flap of what appears to be impact melt that goes right up to, and over, the edge. In regions like this, it is likely that as molten rock was ejected from the crater and deposited on the exterior, the crater's shape was still changing. A portion of what was originally the rim has likely slumped down into the crater. Small debris slides continue to expose bright, fresh material on the walls. In the wider, reduced-resolution view below, the extent to which the impact event resurfaced its surroundings is clear. The foreground shows the detailed patterns left by the ejecta and secondary craters as they swept across the surface, smoothing and mantling the original topography. In the distance of the background, you can make out darker areas within the bright terrain - these are likely areas that the continuous ejecta blanket and rays did not completely cover, so the mature soil remains at the surface.
Scroll through all of the details of this beautiful impact crater - the full-resolution version of today's Featured Image is not to be missed!
Be sure to check out the YouTube video:
Check out the full resolution version of the movie download it for yourself here!
Previous LROC Views of Giordano Bruno:
Sunset Over Giordano Bruno
The Big Picture
Outside of Giordano Bruno
Fragmented Impact Melt
Delicate Patterns in Giordano Bruno Ejecta
Impact Melt Flows on Giordano Bruno