Could this be the sunken crater Ricardo? 

That brilliant lunar photographer from Brazil, Professor Ricardo Vaz Tolentino, is featured in Dr Chuck Wood’s Lunar Picture of the Day this week.

Ricardo highlighted and measured a sunken meteorite crater in the Oceanus Procellarum, the Ocean of Storms and measured it as 8km across but only130 metres deep.

The crater probably formed in the Age of Heavy Bombardment when asteroids, meteors and comets rained down on the Moon around four ­billion years ago. 

The crater was later covered by molten lava.

This area is a most outstanding section of the lunar surface. 

The sunken crater is midway between the so far unexplained Gruithuisen Domes, upper right, and the Aristarchus Plateau, lower left.

The Aristarchus Plateau is famous for the presence of Ilmenite a part of the oxygen-rich glassy soils that could in the future provide lunar visitors with their life sustaining oxygen requirements.

Note also the smaller walled craters formed by meteorites splashing into the still plastic molten lava in ages past. 

A revealing look at the titanic forces at play.

So Professor Tolentino from his rooftop observatory in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, provides a ­further explanation in the quest to understand our enigmatic neighbour, our glorious Moon.

The 2013 Harvest Moon will appear tonight, full, in the skies above Maitland.

CRATERS: Understanding the Moon. 	 Image credit: Professor Ricardo Jose Vaz Tolentino

CRATERS: Understanding the Moon. Image credit: Professor Ricardo Jose Vaz Tolentino

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