LRO observes Ina D Caldera on the Moon.

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3488

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The LRO has observed the Ina D Caldera in Lacus Felicitatis.

First really noticed during the Apollo missions, Ina D Caldera only 3 KM wide was considered a young non impact feature, pointing to 'recent' or even 'current' lunar volcanism.

NASA Is the Moon still alive?

Reasons for considered youth.

1). The formation looked too 'fresh' to be ancient. Impact Cratering would have destroyed it if ancient.

2). The formation appeared to have 'fresh' regolith. Lunar regolith darkens with age due to 'space weathering', interactions with the solar wind, micrometeoroid impacts, radiation, etc. There for something was exposing fresh regolith, possibly out gassings???

3). Aparrent fine features within the formation. Same objectioins to being ancient as point 1.

Below LRO LROC image of Ina D Caldera. White bar represents 1 KM.


Below an enlarged crop from within the white box above, approx 300 metres across.


The new LRO images clearly show that Ina D, has raised areas, fairly smooth & lower rougher terrain. The difference in elevation is approx 30 metres.

The LRO image clearly shows that the raised smoother areas are indeed heavily pitted with tiny impact craters, with the same density as the ancient surrounding marial surface of Lacus Felicitatis. This clearly rules out Ina D as being youthful. There appears to be very little evidence in the new data of current activity. There are however, still bright patches within the caldera.

However, Ina D is still unique on tghe Moon & the crater free, brighter toned lower terrain remains mysterious. I hope that the full resolution 50 cm reso images will be released soon.

Andrew Brown.
 
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moreandless

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Sir, do you think this could be an example of outcrop due to antipodal energy
vis a vis a large hit on the opposite side of the moon?
one of those excellent ideas championed by Luann Becker ?
 
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3488

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Hi moreandless,

Thank you very much for your response.

The antipodal point of Ina D Caldera is just to the sourh west of the 430 KM wide Korolev Imapct Basin on the moon's far side. Korolev is only just north of the anti Earth point.

Korolev Impact Basin. Lunar Farside.


Pehaps the whole of Lacus Felicitatis could the focal point of the seismic waves from that impact????

I know also you are referring to the Wierd Terrain on Mercury, directly antipodal the Caloris Basin, discovered by Mariner 10.

Mercury Weird Terrain. Antipodal to Caloris Basin. Mariner 10. Area shown is approx 500 KM wide.


There may be others on Mercury too, antipodal to the Tolstoj & Rembrandt impact basins? MESSENGER should tell us.

Regarding Ina D Caldera, I wonder if there is a link. If so then Ina D may have remained active well after the far side Korolev impact event. However until I see the LRO LROC NAC full res imagery I cannot speculate too much. Are there 'fresh' lava flows / ponding, are the smooth areas pitted with tiny craters, say less then five metres wide, is the regolith thick or thin?

We'll see.

Andrew Brown.
 
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moreandless

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that certainly is a unique formation at Ina D
i can see where proper dating could link antipodal sites..as difficult as that may be
am also looking forward to the Messenger science
BTW, Hellas basin seems linked to O.Mons and Tharsis bulge, antipodaly
 
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