Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

Beautiful Ejecta Patterns

Unnamed very fresh crater at the north edge of Mare Fecunditatis. Image center is 3.637°N, 48.930°E, image width is 930 m, incidence angle is about 13.8°, LROC NAC M187921190R [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Today's Featured Image highlights an unnamed small crater (roughly 180 m in diameter) located at the northern edge of Mare Fecunditatis, near the Catena Taruntis. The strong reflectance contrast between the ejecta deposit and the surrounding background in the opening image suggests that this crater is still very flesh and young. The low reflectance materials in the center of this crater are probably impact melts or a different rock type in the subsurface that was excavated by the impact. The numerous dark dots intermixed with the high reflectance ejecta might be same dark materials as the one on the crater floor, or more likely secondary craters excavating the background mature material. 

This beautiful ejecta field consists of numerous lobes systematically piled on the top of adjacent outer lobes, resulting in a view like a stop motion picture of the impact event. Apparently, ejecta that landed far away from the impact center settled on the ground earlier than the portion that traveled a shorter distance. High resolution images of these very fresh craters supply key information about impact cratering, which improves our knowledge of the craters and helps to reveal the history of any airless planetary bodies in our solar system.  

The unnamed fresh crater and surrounding areas in LROC WAC monochrome mosaic (100 m/pix). Image center is 3.64°N, 48.93°E. The locations of the unnamed crater in the opening image (yellow arrow) and the full NAC frame (blue box) is shown here [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Explore this beautiful fresh crater on Mare Fecunditatis in full NAC frame yourself!

Related posts:

Action Shot, Polka-dot Ejecta, Ejecta Starburst, Icarus, A Tiny, Glancing Blow, Symmetric Ejecta

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