Tuesday, May 04, 2010


800 million years ago an impactor struck the eastern extent of Oceanus Procellarum, the "Ocean of Storms." The bright-rayed crater Copernicus was formed: the crater now considered representative of many lunar craters created during the Copernican period on the Moon.

Copernicus crater is 93 km wide. LOLA data reveals that its crater rims reach almost 300 m above the lunar mean elevation level, while its floor rests near -1700 m. The blue areas contained within the interior purple of the impact crater in this LOLA image reveal Copernicus’s three central peaks.

Image credit: NASA/Goddard

Spacing between tracks of LRO orbits is larger near the equator than the poles. This spacing leads to greater interpolation of equatorial data and lowers the resolution of LOLA images, including this image of Copernicus, created in this region of the Moon.

Related Links:

› LOLA instrument Web site

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