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NASA Satellite Spots Creepy Face on the Moon

This is one mad moon rock! (NASA/GSFC/ASU)

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) acquired an image of the interior of Schiller crater on the Moon and this grumpy-looking boulder was found within by a Moon Zoo member. Just what is it, and what could have created it?

Read more here!

Bounce and Flow

Dark flows run down the slopes of Stevinus A crater on the Moon in this detail of an image from the LRO’s camera. Large boulders that have rolled downhill appear to have interrupted the flow in at least one spot in this image.

It’s still not exactly known whether these features in Stevinus A are the result of impact melt or dry material that flowed like a liquid after a lunar seismic event.

Read more about this image on the LRO site, and see the full zoomable LRO image here.

Image credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

From the LITD Archives: Sinking the Shot

A lunar hole-in-one

Alan Shepard may have played some moon golf during his visit in 1971 but even he wouldn’t have been up to par with this course. ;) This photo shows the trail of a house-sized (33-foot-wide) lunar boulder that has rolled downhill and come to rest inside the rim of a crater. The image was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.

The boulder may have come dislodged from its previous location by a meteorite hit or a “moonquake” (yes, the moon has its own versions of earthquakes!) It rolled downhill, apparently bouncing a few times along the way (noted by gaps in the trail) and took a sharp right turn when it encountered a crater rim, coming to rest on the inner slope. And there it’s sat for who knows how long. Without weathering processes (besides a relentless rain of micrometeorites) the boulder’s trail will stay visible for hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of years.

Read more on the LROC site here.

Image: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Originally posted on May 21, 2010

It’s All Downhill

An 80-foot-wide lunar boulder and its telltale trail

This image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a close-up of an 80-foot-wide boulder on the central peak of Gassendi Crater, a trail left behind it in the dark lunar soil. There’s even a bit of a pile-up of soil in front of it where it came to rest! Several smaller boulders on either side of it have made their own downhill runs as well.

Read more about this image and its location on Arizona State University’s LROC site.

Image credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

Like a Rolling Stone

A boulder leaves a bounding trail in the lunar dust

Here’s a neat image for today: a detail of the central peak of Eratosthenes Crater, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), shows a trail a rolling boulder has left in the regolith (the fancy word for Moon dirt.) The boulder, located in the central part of the top half of this image, came loose at some point in the past, leaving regularly-spaced depressions behind it as it tumbled and bounced downhill in the low lunar gravity.

This image spans a distance of about 600 meters (just under 2000 feet).

See this image and more on NASA’s LRO mission site here, or on the University of Arizona’s LROC imaging site here.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Sinking the Shot

A lunar hole-in-one

Alan Shepard may have played some moon golf during his visit in 1971 but even he wouldn’t have been up to par with this course. ;) This photo shows the trail of a house-sized (33-foot-wide) lunar boulder that has rolled downhill and come to rest inside the rim of a crater. The image was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera and released today, May 21.

The boulder may have come dislodged from its previous location by a meteorite hit or a “moonquake” (yes, the moon has its own versions of earthquakes!) It rolled downhill, apparently bouncing a few times along the way (noted by gaps in the trail) and took a sharp right turn when it encountered a crater rim, coming to rest on the inner slope. And there it’s sat for who knows how long. Without weathering processes (besides a relentless rain of micrometeorites) the boulder’s trail will stay visible for hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of years.

Read more on the LROC site here.

Image: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Follow the Dotted Line

A dotted line marks the path of a large boulder that has bounced down the inner slope of this 1-km-wide crater in this image from the HiRISE camera, taken on November 12, 2006. The boulder can be seen where it came to rest among the sand dunes on the crater’s floor.

See the original release on the University of Arizona’s HiRISE site here.

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