Rectified View of Cameron  Taruntius Field
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Rectified View of Cameron / Taruntius Field

April 21, 2005
Late Afternoon at Taruntius

Located at 46° East lunar longitude, 6° North lunar latitude, this area is viewed from the VLT at an inclined angle and the craters therefore all appear as ellipses in the NACO image. However, taking into account the direction of the line-of-sight at the time of the observation [2], this view can be "rectified" by simple image processing. The corresponding "view from above" is shown in PR Photo 19b/02 ; most of the craters in the field now appear quite round.

Many different types of lunar surface formations are visible in the VLT photo. In addition to the numerous impact craters of all sizes, there are also hills and ridges of a great variety of shapes, as well as a prominent "valley" (a "Rima", or fissure) that stretches nearly 50 km through the photo in East-West direction. It has been identified on earlier photos and as it is situated inside that crater, it was given the name "Rimae Taruntius" in 1985. It is very well resolved in this photo and resembles "Rima Hadley" that was visited by the Apollo 15 astronauts in 1971, but is much smaller. The mean width is about 600 metres (12 pixels). The bottom is in the shadows and the depth is therefore unknown. It is overlapped by several smaller craters that must have been caused by impacts after this depression was formed.

Measuring the length of the shadows, it is possible to infer the height of some of the formations. For instance, the shadows of the two peaks at the lower centre of the photo are about 4 km long, indicating that these formations are about 500 metres tall.

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