Two different NAC images of the pit with different incidence angles. Red arrows point to the same features in both images. The blue arrows point to the pit itself [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Impact melt pits are a type of lunar feature now seen in many LROC NAC images. This LROC image shows a newly discovered pit within the impact melt of a relatively small, unnamed crater. The pit is roughly circular with a diameter of ~16 meters. This diameter is smaller than the large pits found in mare basalt: the Mare Ingenii pit is ~130 m in diameter, the Marius Hills pit is ~65 m in diameter, and the Mare Tranquillitatis pit is ~100 m in diameter.

Pits like this may have formed when a portion of a lava tube collapsed. The subsequent pit is a skylight that leads into the intact lava tube.

Higher sun angle images allow scientists to calculate the depth of this impact melt pit. In the image above, two observations give a slightly different view of the main pit (blue arrow) and the irregular fracture (which could be a second pit) to the west (red arrow on the left), but the floor of the pit is not visible at either incidence angle.

Visit the LROC News Page for more information and high res images!

Posted by:Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/index.php?/archives/513-Impact-Melt-Pit.html#extended

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