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Tycho (crater)

From Academic Kids

Template:Lunar crater Tycho is a prominent lunar impact crater located in the southern lunar highlands. To the south is Street crater; to the east Pictet, and to the north-northeast is Sasserides crater. The surface around Tycho is replete with craters of various differing radii, many overlapping still older craters. Some of the smaller craters are secondary craters formed from larger chunks of ejecta from Tycho.

Missing image
Tycho_Crater.jpg
The large ray system centered on Tycho

Tycho is a relatively young crater, with an estimated age of 108 million years, as estimated from samples of the crater rays recovered during the Apollo 17 mission. The crater is sharply defined and free of the wear that affects older craters. The interior has a high albedo that is prominent when the sun is overhead, and the crater is surrounded by a distinctive ray system forming long spokes that reach as long as 1,500 kilometers. Sections of these rays can be observed even when Tycho is only illuminated by earth-shine.

The ramparts beyond the rim have a lower albedo than the interior for a distance of over a hundred kilometers, and are free of the ray markings that lie beyond. This darker rim may have been formed from minerals excavated during the impact.

Its inner wall is slumped and terraced, sloping down to a rough but nearly flat floor exhibiting small, knobby domes. The floor displays signs of past volcanism, most likely from rock melt caused by the impact. Detailed photographs of the floor show that it is covered in a cross-crossing array of cracks and small hills. The central peaks rise 1.6 kilometers above the floor, and a lesser peak stands just to the northeast of the primary massif.

Tycho crater

Infrared observations of the lunar surface during an eclipse have demonstrated that Tycho cools at a slower rate than other parts of the surface, making the crater a "hot spot". This effect is caused by the difference in materials that cover the crater.

The rim of this crater was chosen as the target of the Surveyor 7 mission. The robotic spacecraft safely touched down north of the crater in January, 1968. The craft performed chemical measurements of the surface, finding a composition different from the maria. From this one of the main components of the highlands was theorized to be anorthosite, an aluminum-rich mineral. The crater was also imaged in great detail by the Orbiter V.

This crater was drawn on lunar maps as early as 1645, when Antonius Maria Schyrleus de Rheita depicted the bright ray system.

The Tycho crater figures prominiently in the film and book 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which it is the burial place of a mysterious alien monolith.

Satellite craters

By convention these features are identified on Lunar maps by placing the letter on the side of the crater mid-point that is closest to Tycho crater.

Tycho Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 39.9° S 12.0° W 31 km
B 43.9° S 13.9° W 13 km
C 44.3° S 13.7° W 7 km
D 45.6° S 14.0° W 27 km
E 42.2° S 13.5° W 14 km
F 40.9° S 13.1° W 16 km
H 45.2° S 15.8° W 8 km
J 42.5° S 15.3° W 11 km
K 45.1° S 14.3° W 6 km
P 45.3° S 13.0° W 8 km
Q 42.5° S 15.9° W 21 km
R 41.8° S 13.6° W 5 km
S 43.4° S 16.1° W 3 km
T 41.2° S 12.5° W 14 km
U 41.0° S 13.8° W 19 km
V 41.7° S 15.3° W 4 km
W 43.2° S 15.3° W 19 km
X 43.8° S 15.2° W 13 km
Y 44.1° S 15.8° W 19 km
Z 43.1° S 16.2° W 24 km
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nl:Tycho (inslagkrater)

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