Photos of the Sun

Plateau on the moon. Solar System Details

Plateau on the moon. Solar System Details

Embedded in the enormous lava flows of the Oceanus Procellarum de la Luna is the Aristarchus Plateau.

This clear and colorful image, which was taken from a home observatory, shows very well this region of varied geology, including this brownish plateau, the Aristarchus and Herodotus craters, and the meandering Vallis Schroteri.

The bright impact crater in the corner of the plateau is Aristarchus, a recent crater 42 kilometers wide and 3 deep, surrounded by a radial system of light-colored rays. The Herodotus crater, a little smaller and flooded with lava, is a little higher and to the left. Vallis Schroteri a valley probably formed by a rapid flow of lava or by the collapse of a lava tunnel, begins just to the right of Herodotus, and travels about 160 kilometers along the plateau, sometimes running towards the top edge of the photo and the shadow of the lunar terminator.

The Aristarchus Plateau is like a rectangular island of about 200 kilometers, raised two kilometers above the flat surface of the Storm Ocean, on the Moon.

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