Exposed Fractured Bedrock in the Central Peak of the Anaxagoras Crater
November 29, 2012
Figure 4 shows a close up of the ridge (Fig. 2), revealing a great spot for possible future explorers to sample. The best samples for most scientific studies come from outcrops or rubble that can be traced back to their original position. Understanding the geologic context of a sample allows scientists to place a rock in its stratigraphic position and better trace back to the processes and forces that formed the original rock and later altered it. Sampling the central peak is scientifically important because it represents anorthositic rock formed as part of the original lunar crust. Lunar geologists would like to sample a variety of these ancient rocks spread across the whole Moon to understand variations in lunar chemistry which would help to bring together the story of the Moon's formation. The impact melts on the floor of the crater also represent a valuable sample -- by age dating their time of formation we would know exactly when the crater was formed. Fig. 4 - Detail of boulders on top of the central uplift. The surface beneath these loose boulders also contains large blocks, most likely these are fractured bedrock outcrops. Image is 425 meters wide. Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University.
Topics: Astronomy, Lunar science, Planetary science, Fra Mauro formation, Geology of the Moon, Anaxagoras, Planemos, Moons, Planetary geology