Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 25, 2012

Bessel Crater
Bessel Crater

Credits: NASA/JPL-Apollo 15 Crew; additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

An Outcrops' Unit of Layered Rock as well as Dark Vertical Strikes (which, likely, constitute the evidence of Dust Slides generated by the Outcrops' Unit) are strikingly evident in the upper part of the far Inner Wall of the Lunar Crater Bessel (which was named after the German Mathematician and Astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, and it has a diametr of approx. 15 Km). Bessel Crater is located in the South-Central Mare Serenitatis, at about 21,8° North Latitude and 17,9° East Longitude and to the North/North-East of the young (and much bigger) Crater Menelaus.

The Outcrops' Unit which characterizes the upper Inner Wall of Bessel is most evident where it forms shadows; however, the lines of Dark Debris that stream downslope from the Layered Rocks are also visible on parts of the Crater Wall where the Sun has completely washed out all details relevant to the existence of Reliefs. The Outcrops' Unit is positioned at a uniform distance below the Crater's Rim, thus indicating that the Strata which forms it are horizontal. All that said, it is now stronlgy believed that Bessel Crater can actually furnish a quite convincing evidence that the Lunar Mare Surfaces are globally underlain by Dark Layered Rock and that such a Dark Rock is Basalt that accumulated as successive Flows (---> Layers) of Molten Lava covered one another.

Furthermore, the Crater Bessel is youthful enough that Boulders are abundant on its Rim and Floor; however (and just out of curiosity), an anomalously high number of Boulders appears visible in the small Unnamed Crater (approx. 750 meters in diameter) that formed on the Floor of Bessel itself (see th arrow).

This frame (which is the Original NASA - Apollo 15 Spacecraft b/w frame n. AS 15-9328) has been additionally processed and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Apollo 15 Spacecraft and then looked down, towards the Surface of the Moon), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among others, the existence of different Elements present on the Surface of the Moon, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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