The featured image shows the interior of a fresh impact crater (approximately 300 m in diameter) in the Mare Smythii Constellation region of interest. In the high-sun image above, it is hard to recognise topographic features because there are no shadows. The wider view below, paired with a lower-sun image of the same crater on the right, gives a sharper view of small scale features such as boulders.
The floor of this small crater looks like a basket of impact-melt covered rocks. Sampling the ejecta would help answer questions about the age of apparently recent impacts such as this one and the processes that cause their fresh rays to fade.
Mare Smythii is located on the eastern limb of the Moon and would provide an excellent place to sample relatively young (1-2 billion years old) basaltic lavas not represented in the sample collection. The western portion of the region of interest encompasses the crater Schubert C, the floor of which is fractured, possibly due to intrusions of lava beneath its surface - a great hypothesis for future explorers to assess.
Mare Smythii contains many beautiful features, several of which are highlighted in high-sun images such as the one above.
Explore the full NAC image for yourself.
Posted by Brett Denevi on May 20, 2010 09:25 UTC.