Categories: MissionsMoon

Like Yoda This Moon Shadow Looks. Yes, hmmm?

Scientists from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter say that Icarus Crater is one of a kind on the Moon because its central peak rises higher than about half its rim. Most central peaks rise only about halfway to the crater rim. But at just the ring angle and lighting conditions, the shadow this central peak creates on the rolling and jagged crater rim looks like the Star Wars Character Yoda. Interestingly, this crater is located on what some people erroneously call the “Dark Side” of the Moon – what is actually the lunar farside.

Yoda meditates about moons. Via Blastr.com

Below you can see a closeup of the central peak of Icarus crater rising out of the shadows to greet a new lunar day.

The central peak of Icarus Crater on the Moon’s farside, as seen by LROC. Image width is approximately 10 km, north is to the right. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Icarus is located just west of Korolev crater on the lunar farside. The light-colored plains surrounding the craters were deposited during the formation of the Orientale basin, which is located over 1500 km away.

Image from LRO’s Wide Angle Camera of Icarus crater and vicinity. Image width is approximately 365 km. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Find out more about these images from LRO and see larger versions at the LROC website.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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