Earth-based telescopic image                          Cropped Lunar Orbiter image
Larger version of above by AstroImaging
Full sized  version of Lunar Orbiter image LO4-108H2
There are many good images of Alphonsus, but the one above left is very striking due to the low sun angle. Alphonsus is a 100km-wide ringed mountain with a central peak. On its floor are rilles and crater pits with dark haloes. A detailed overghead sunlit view is provided with the LO4 image above right. Using the 60-inch Mount Wilson reflector, in 1956 Dinsmore Alter made photographs of the lunar crater and found that certain features looked more fuzzy on the blue-violet plates than on the infrared. At the time, this photographic evidence of some kind of obscuration or "degassing" on the moon warmed up the then lukewarm interest in the issue of lunar activity. The floor of the crater Alphonsus was the crash-landing site of probe Ranger 9. 

Apollo planners had concocted some fantastic missions to the Moon, one of which included an all-out, week-long, dual-launch mission to Alphonsus. After the Apollo astronauts had finished this complex mission and gone home, the LSSM (Local Scientific Survey Module) would crawl out and head 750 km across the rugged central highland of the Moon toward Sabine and Ritter, the twin calderas photographed by Ranger 8 and Lunar Orbiter 5.  

For more details click on Section 44 below.

Other Lunar Orbiter images
For the latest information and images regarding this section, including Apollo Hasselblad (H), Metric (M), and Panoramic (P) images, go to:
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This web page was created by Francis Ridge for The Lunascan Project:
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