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The ruggedness of the grooved and furrowed terrain of the central lunar highlands is emphasized here under low Sun illumination of about 3° compared with an illumination angle of about 27° in figure 46. In the north south direction, this mosaic covers a distance of 210 km. While these photographs were taken, the Apollo 16 crew was completing its first revolution in orbit and described the scene as follows: "In this lighting, you can see the crater Descartes, and it stands out much bigger than you would expect because of the low Sun angle. In fact, I had to look up my map to make sure that that was what I was looking at. . . . It looks very much like a big clinkery cinder field, . . . a big, rounded surface of clinkers. It is fantastic . . . boy, is that rough!" The crater Descartes itself (D) is subdued and partly covered by the rough topography. The Apollo 16 landing site (arrow) is in a gap within the grooved and furrowed unit. Contrary to premission beliefs that this unit was of volcanic origin, returned samples from the site are breccias formed by shock metamorphism of the highland rock. F.E. B.
Report Source: NASA SP-362, Page 59, Figure 47
This web page was created by Francis Ridge
for The Lunascan Project
Section Directory 45