Rootless Impact Melt Flows
December 7, 2012
Today's featured image displays viscous flow features out of a fresh crater, likely the impact melt flows. The lower left bright portion corresponds to the crater cavity's inner slope, and the other area is outside the cavity with the slope in upper right direction. The original source point of these flows are lost, probably due to slumping of the steep inner walls. When the rim failed and slid into the crater the head of the flows were truncated leaving a sharp edge, often with cracks parallel to the rim. Since the flows overlie the main ejecta blanket we can infer that the melt was thrown out late in the crater forming process. These cross-cutting or the overlapping relationships help scientists to understand the complicated process of impact cratering!