Newsweek                                                                                                       12/5/66

Moon peaks: What's up there?

Shadow of a Doubt

   As Lunar Orbiter II streaked 28 miles above the edge of the moon's Sea of Tranquility, its high resolution camera recorded a sight that agitated photo interpreters. With the dawning sun low in the lunar sky, long shadows slanted across the moonscape as if giant cathedrals were casting shadows on the snow. After analyzing the shadows, U.S, Geological Survey scientists last week calculated that they were cast by rock piles ranging from 16 to 75 feet high.

   The lofty structures surprised selenologists because pictures from Lunar Or biter I and Surveyor 1 had revealed smoother plains broken primarily by high mountains and crater rims but not by sharp outcroppings.

   "They might be blocks of material ejected from a crater by the impact of some object," speculates Dr. Thor Karlstrom, one of the USGS scientists who studied the pictures for NASA's Langley Research Center. Or the rocks could be volcanic material ejected through faults in the moon's crust - a view which adds to the impressive evidence already accumulated by Lunar Orbitcr I that the moon has had the same turbuleut geological past as the earth. The structures might also be eroded cones of old volcanoes. "Any of these possibilities could conceivibly  be correct," says Karlstrom.

   In any case, the formations probably will have little effect on the first U.S. lunar-landing plans. All the outcroppings are in an area that has already been given low priority as a possible landing site.