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Aristarchus Crater on the Moon

Aristarchus Crater on the Moon

There is a large impact crater on the Moon named after the Greek astronomer Aristarchus. It is about twenty five miles across and two miles deep and is one of the brightest lunar formations. Aristarchus crater is known for it’s history of exhibiting color changes that astronomers call “Transient Lunar Phenomonon” or TLPs. Luminescent glows in the area are thought to be caused by radon gas emissions which have been measured by the Lunar Prospector probe.

Moon’s Aristarchus crater is subject of interest – [spaceports.blogspot.com]

The cliffs of the Aristarchus crater are over two miles (3.5 km high) – twice as deep as the Grand Canyon – with layers of minerals exposed by the huge impact tumbling into the crater below, as images from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show. Images taken by LRO were published in English publication the Daily Mail.

The Moon’s Aristarchus crater is estimated to be young at 450-million years old. The crater has been determined to have especially rich concentrations of ilmenite, a titanium oxide mineral that could potentially be used in the future by a lunar settlement for extracting oxygen. The crater region has been the subject of several transient lunar phenomenon (TLP), or lunar transient phenomenon (LTP), a short-lived light, color, or change in appearance on the lunar surface.

Aristarchus Spectacular! – [asu.edu]

The Aristarchus plateau is one of the most geologically diverse places on the Moon: a mysterious raised flat plateau, a giant rille carved by enormous outpourings of lava, fields of explosive volcanic ash, and all surrounded by massive flood basalts. A relatively recent asteroid (or comet) slammed into this geologic wonderland, blowing a giant hole in the ground revealing a cross section of over 3000 meters (9800 ft) of geology. No wonder planners for the Apollo missions put this plateau high on its list of targets for human exploration. This amazing image was acquired on 10 November 2011 as LRO passed north-to-south about 70 km east of the crater’s center while it was slewed 70° to the west. The spacecraft was only 26 km (16.2 miles) above the surface; about two times lower than normal. For a sense of scale, that altitude is only a little over twice as high as commercial jets fly above the Earth!

THE LIVING MOON – [thelivingmoon.com]

If you haven’t already seen the Full Moon that Mike took where this clip of Aristarchus is a small section, you can do so HERE. The picture above is Aristarchus Crater clipped from an image taken with a 10″ Telescope in the UK. Compare this image to the high resolution image from the Clementine Satellite below and remember that this is a 10″ telescope image.

You will notice the symmetrical dome like structure of the “crater” as well as the bright blue glow that literally lights up the surrounding area! The overall effect is that of plasma energy emitting from the dome, or at least very bright light.

-0310 – Aristarchus – bio

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