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Ray-Swept Stofler

September 2, 2004

Image Credit: Wes Higgins

Ray-Swept Stofler

Three-hundred fifty km east of Tycho is a crater which has seen some tough days. Stofler once was a 126 km wide Copernicus-like crater, probably about 4.5 km deep. Its still that wide, and softened relics of its terraces are visible, but the crater has been filled by 1.8 km of a light--hued smooth plains material that buried its central peak. But before the plains formed, other craters bombarded it. An old un-designated crater impacted on the floor of Stofler. Later that crater was cut in half by Faraday, which itself was hit by Stofler P, and then Faraday C (mouseover). At some point the covering of Stofler's floor occurred - probably after Faraday formed (lava or Orientale or Imbrium ejecta?) because that crater's rim seems slightly embayed by the floor material. The youngest crater to form on Stofler was Stofler F, a fresh 17.5 km wide, 2.8 km deep crater. Wes' image shows a classic "turned on a lath" inner wall for F, and two quite unusual hills on the edge of the crater floor. These hills are not central peaks - I don't know what they are. The last thing to happen to Stofler (except for a continuing rain of micro-meteorites) was its draping by bright ray material from Tycho about 810 m.y. ago.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Aug 16, 2003, Starmaster 14.5 Newt. Reflector working at F/28, Toucam Pro webcam,  stack of 68 frames .

Related Links:
Lunar Orbiter IV View
Rukl Atlas of the Moon, Sheet 65

Tomorrow's LPOD: Snake in the Mare


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