Figure 164

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The large crater Copernicus has served as a type example of lunar impact craters since the classic analysis was made by E. M. Shoemaker (1962). Bright rays of ejecta radiate outward from Copernicus across a large part of the Moon's near side. Material from one of the rays may have been sampled at the Apollo 12 landing site, 370 km south of the center of the crater. This photograph shows how the crater appeared from the Apollo 17 spacecraft looking southward over the Montes Carpatus (Carpathian Mountains). Notice that the rim deposits immediately adjacent to the crater have a very crisp, blocky appearance in contrast to the softer appearance of the rest of the ejecta blanket. This crisp zone is also found on many other craters and suggests the ejecta here was swept clean by some erosion process late in the cratering event. The terraced slumps on the crater wall appear like giant stair steps leading to the floor, 3 to 4 km below the rim. The 1-km-high central peaks were made famous in 1966 by a  "picture of the century"  view looking into the crater from the south by Lunar Orbiter 2. Now Apollo has given us scores of even more spectacular photographs.   -K.A.H.

Report Source: NASA SP-362, Page 161, Figure 164

This web page was created by Francis Ridge for The Lunascan Project
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