Smooth floor in Copernicus crater

With the exception of recent impacts (such as this one) into the floor material of Copernicus, much of the northwestern floor of Copernicus appears smooth and relatively featureless (upper right corner). This region on the crater floor appears similar to mare basalt flows, but studies show that volcanism has not shaped the landscape of Copernicus' interior. Instead, it is possible that a vast volume of impact melt was created during impact and cooled differentially across the crater floor such that some areas appear smooth while others are hummocky. LROC NAC M135317661L, image width is 520 m [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

LROC Wide Angle Camera 400 m/pixel monochrome mosaic of Copernicus crater (93 km diameter). The arrow indicates the approximate position of the NAC image above [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

How many blocky craters can you find in this smooth region on Copernicus' floor? Count them in the full LROC NAC image and explore the 100 m/pixel LROC WAC image!

Related posts: Central Peak of Copernicus Crater

Copernicus Crater and the Lunar Timescale


Posted by Lillian Ostrach on September 29, 2010 09:00 UTC.