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Fractures in the mare of Tsiolkovskiy Crater
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Fractures in the mare of Tsiolkovskiy Crater

December 1, 2012
Located on the lunar far-side (20.4° S, 129.1° E), the interior of Tsiolkovskiy Crater is filled with Upper Imbrium aged mare basalt. The 185 km diameter impact crater is named after the Russian physicist and space pioneer Konstantin E. Tsiolkovskiy (1857 - 1935). The first image of this crater was acquired by the Soviet Luna III robotic spacecraft in 1959. Small fractures in the mare floor of Tsiolkovskiy Crater are a departure from the usual scene of smooth mare pitted with impact craters. As the mare cools, fractures like these can form, or these fractures might have formed due to changes in the morphology of the Tsiolkovskiy impact crater over time. Image width is 580 m; NAC Image M130822373R, incidence angle 73°. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University


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