Spectacular View from LRO of Tycho Crater’s Central Uplifts

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Here’s the Moon like you’ve never seen it before: a dramatic sunrise view of Tycho Crater on the Moon, highlighting the peaks and crags of the crater’s central uplifts. On June 10,2011 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter slewed 65Β° to the west, allowing the Narrow Angle Camera to capture a “sideways” look at Tycho crater, resulting in a spectacular image. The central peak complex is about 15 km wide southeast to northwest (left to right in this view). Below are more images and a video which spans and zooms in to the entire image.


Tycho Crater is a very popular target with amateur astronomers since it is easily seen from Earth. The crater measures about 82 km (51 miles) in diameter, and the summit of the central peak is 2 km (6562 ft) above the crater floor, and the crater floor is about 4700 m (15,420 ft) below the rim.

Central uplifts form in larger impact craters in response to the impact event.

LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson wrote on the LRO website, “Tycho’s features are so steep and sharp because the crater is young by lunar standards, only about 110 million years old….Were these distinctive outcrops formed as a result of crushing and deformation of the target rock as the peak grew? Or do they represent preexisting rock layers that were brought intact to the surface? Imagine future geologists carefully making their way across these steep slopes, sampling a diversity of rocks brought up from depth.”

Here’s a close-up of the summit. The boulder in the background is 120 meters wide, and the image is about 1200 meters wide.

Oblique view of summit area of Tycho crater central peak. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

And here’s the entire crater:

LROC WAC mosaic of Tycho crater with lighting similar to that when the NAC oblique image was taken. Mosaic is 130 km wide, north is up. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Click on the images for larger versions on the LROC website, or see this link for more information on these images.

Source: LROC

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18 Responses

  1. Manjunatha JV says:

    a spectacular view

  2. Niki Giada says:

    A dream of a life!

  3. Lord Haw-Haw. says:

    “So mathematical Truth prefers simple words since the language of Truth is itself simple.”
    ~Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).

    http://www.nada.kth.se/~fred/tycho/index.html

    • HeadAroundU says:

      What can I say? The truth may be simple, but may not be simple to find. πŸ˜€

  4. ITSRUF says:

    Not interrested in truth — just the facts.

    Truth is objective, facts are not. Was Gen. W.T. Sherman a war hero or a villian? Truth may vary, but the facts remain….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why you are asking about General Sherman is beyond me. However the facts in his case are well known. The interpretation of these facts is colored by the mores of our time period. Today, Sherman would most likely be deemed a War Criminal. But when he made his infamous “March to the Sea” it was seen in the light of the day as being a militarily sound stratagem, at least from the North’s point of view.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why you are asking about General Sherman is beyond me. However the facts in his case are well known. The interpretation of these facts is colored by the mores of our time period. Today, Sherman would most likely be deemed a War Criminal. But when he made his infamous “March to the Sea” it was seen in the light of the day as being a militarily sound stratagem, at least from the North’s point of view.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why you are asking about General Sherman is beyond me. However the facts in his case are well known. The interpretation of these facts is colored by the mores of our time period. Today, Sherman would most likely be deemed a War Criminal. But when he made his infamous “March to the Sea” it was seen in the light of the day as being a militarily sound stratagem, at least from the North’s point of view.

  8. So no monoliths… Bummer

  9. Anonymous says:

    That is a fantastic looking image!

  10. TorbjΓΆrn Larsson says:

    If I remember the numerical facts correctly (which follows from energy considerations):

    – The diameter of an impactor is ~ 1/20 of an impact crater, here ~ 4 km.
    – The height of upcast is ~ 1/5 – 1/10 of the impactor diameter, here ~ 0.5 – 1 km.

    Not too bad correspondence, and compared with transporting a drill and 2 km of pipes to the Moon…

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