Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tycho crater up close.

If you have seen the moon - that bright annoying that that always seems to come out on the clear nights chasing us deep-sky guys back indoors - you are probably familiar with Tycho crater.  It's that crater that has the huge ray system that splatters across the face of the moon.
Here is a shot of it that I took during a total eclipse a few years back, easy to see Tycho just to the right and center of the Earth's shadow.
The crater name comes from Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe who is probably remembered mostly for his replacement gold nose which replaced his fleshy snout that was chopped off in a fight!
It's always fun to see familiar places that appear so small and far away, zoomed in really close by some of our spacecraft.  Yesterday this amazing photo was released of the central peak of Tycho crater taken by the LRO spacecraft from probably about 30 miles up.   The peak in the crater is about 2 miles high, and if you zoom in, you'll even see there is a very large boulder sitting on the top.  That big rock would probably fit nicely into the football field of Quest field in Seattle with room around the edges for people to sill sit and admire the big rock.
Pretty amazing photo of the peak with lots of details.  Click the image (or any others) for a full sized view.  It would make a nice desktop background photo too if you are looking for something new to  stack your icons on.

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