BEYOND THE POLAR EXPLORERS

LPOD-Feb13-09.jpg
image by Stefan Lammel

The south polar region of the Moon provides perhaps the most dramatic celestial landscape that can be observed through a telescope. Tall mountains that ring the South Pole-Aitken Basin jut up into the sky, and deep craters cast dark shadows across their floors. The compression of the landscape through foreshortening makes identification of features difficult, even on a fantastic image such as this. The Tycho-like crater at lower left is Schomberger and a previous LPOD identifies other craters in the area. The massive mountain near the middle is Leibnitz Beta and to its left is the ill-formed Scott. Beyond Scott is a broad flat-floored crater with a tapering shaft of shadow - that is Amundsen, and the smaller bright crater beyond seems to be the farside feature Idelson L. To the right of L and on the limb a rim casts a narrow curved shadow for another flat-floored crater that has no designation according to Rükl map V. Coming in from the right side of this crater is a bright rim with the floor in shadow. This is Faustini, a possible target for the LCROSS collisional probe on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, now apparently to be launched in May, 2009.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
6-Jan-09 20:30UT. 10in f4.8 Newtonian, Infinity 2-1M, 5x PowerMate, green filter, Avistack, Registax, PSE 5, Focus Magic.

Related Links
Rükl plate 73
Stefan's entire mosaic


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