The wispy, bright rays of this small crater (~475 meters in diameter, 24.801°N, 151.687°E) extend down into the fracture (graben). You can see that this small crater is younger than the fracture because the bright rays of the crater are not visibly deformed by the edges of the fracture. Gradually, cratering events like this contribute to the erosion and infilling of fractures and other craters on the lunar surface.
Komarov crater is on the southeastern edge of Mare Moscoviense and is located at 24.59°N, 152.25°E (diameter 80.43 km). The floor was long ago filled with mare basalt, and then cut with a spectacular set of intersecting fractures, or graben. Graben form when a section of the crust sinks as two parallel faults pull the crust apart. Note that the northwestern section of Komarov's rim has an irregular shape. the irregular shape is likely due to a preexisting impact crater. The older crater influenced the formation of Komarov's rim, and may have been partially flooded with molten mare material when Komarov's floor was filled in.
Explore the rest of Komarov's fractures in the LROC NAC!
Posted by Sarah Braden on August 17, 2012 09:33.