This farside rayed crater is named after planetary scientist Elisabetta “Betty” Pierazzo (1963-2011). Betty studied impact cratering, including the production of impact melt, so this 9.3-km diameter crater with abundant impact melt was well chosen to honor Pierazzo. It is located within the north-northwestern extent of ejecta surrounding the Orientale impact basin. This crater was the topic of a recent paper titled “Lobate impact melt flows within the extended ejecta blanket of Pierazzo crater” by Veronica Bray and co-authors (2018, Icarus 301, 26-36). Remarkable impact melt flows are observed from the crater’s rim and interior to more than 40 km distance. The author’s interpretation is that the melt was transported ballistically (flying above the surface) and, upon landing, separated from the solid ejecta and produced the observed flow lobes.
How old is Pierazzo crater? Scientists estimate ages of craters like this one by counting the number of smaller craters that later formed on and around the main crater. By using Zoomify (above), you can explore the entire image at full resolution and estimate the number of younger smaller craters. Be careful, some of those small superposed craters may have formed from boulders thrown out of Pierazzo crater as it formed! These are related craters are called self-secondaries. Enjoy!
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