Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gassendi crater - clue on the thermal history of Mare Humorum

07.07.2006
This mosaic of two images, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the inside of crater Gassendi on the Moon.

AMIE obtained these images on 13 January 2006, one minute apart from each other, from a distance of about 1220 kilometres (top frame) and 1196 kilometres (bottom frame) from the surface, with a ground resolution of 110 and 108 metres per pixel, respectively.


This mosaic of two images, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA’s SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the inside of crater Gassendi on the Moon. AMIE obtained these images on 13 January 2006, one minute apart from each other, from a distance of about 1220 kilometres (top frame) and 1196 kilometres (bottom frame) from the surface, with a ground resolution of 110 and 108 metres per pixel, respectively. The area shown in the top image is centred at a latitude of 16.2º South and longitude 40.2º West, while the bottom images is centred at a latitude of 17.9º South and longitude 40.2º West. The mosaic shows the inside of crater Gassendi, an impact feature located on the near side of the Moon, at the northern edge of Mare Humorum. The crater is actually much larger than the field of view visible in this image. The hills on the lower right of the mosaic are the central peak of the crater, with a height of roughly 1.2 kilometres. The crater almost fully visible on the top is called 'Gassendi A'. Credits: ESA/SMART-1/Space-X (Space Exploration Institute)

The area shown in the top image is centred at a latitude of 16.2º South and longitude 40.2º West, while the bottom images is centred at a latitude of 17.9º South and longitude 40.2º West.

Gassendi is an impact feature located on the near side of the Moon, at the northern edge of Mare Humorum. The crater is actually much larger than the field of view visible in this image. The hills on the lower right of the mosaic are the central peak of the crater, with a height of roughly 1.2 kilometres. The crater almost fully visible on the top is called 'Gassendi A'.

Gassendi is a scientifically interesting site because it offers lunar landers the possibility of sampling ancient highland rocks (in the crater's central peak) as well as providing ages for both the Humorum impact basin and the Gassendi crater itself. However, because the terrain just outside the crater is quite rough, if a crew landed in this region, it would be pretty difficult to reach Gassendi's central peaks for sampling. Gassendi was considered as one of the three potential sites for the Apollo 17 mission, that eventually touched ground in the Taurus-Littrow valley.

The age of Gassendi crater is estimated to be about 3.6 thousand million years (with an error of plus or minus 700 million years).

When observed through spectroscopic analysis, crater Gassendi presents a 'behaviour' very different from any other lunar crater (Mikhail 1979). High resolution studies performed in the near-infrared light (Chevrel and Pinet 1990, 1992) indicated the presence of extrusive volcanic material (that is volcanic material flowing out from the surface and then crystallising) limited to the southern portion of Gassendi's floor, which is adjacent to Mare Humorum.

The interpretation of these data suggested that the central part of the crater, including the peak complex, may have a more 'mafic' nature (that is a composition of rocks coming from the solidification of magma which are rich rich in iron and magnesium silicates, such as olivine and pyroxene), with a higher pyroxene component than surrounding highlands.

The data interpretation also suggested that extensive extrusive volcanism may have occurred within the eastern portion of the floor, as also indicated by the significant presence of pyroxene that also corresponds to visible volcanic features. The western part of the crater floor, away from the geometric continuation of the western edge of Mare Humorum, is composed of highlands-rich material.

The difference between the western and eastern side of the Gassendi floor-fractured crater may be strongly linked to the early thermal history of Mare Humorum.

The crater is named after Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), French philosopher, scientist and mathematician. In 1631, Gassendi became the first person to observe the transit of a planet across the Sun, viewing the transit of Mercury which Kepler had predicted.

Bernard H. Foing | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEMV7DIO9PE_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>