How did I form?

Small fresh crater in Palitzsch B, with a shape and ejecta pattern typical of an oblique impact. North is up, image width is 500 m, LROC NAC M154785423R [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Low angle, or oblique, impacts usually have asymmetric ejecta and form oblong craters. The typical "butterfly" ejecta pattern requires an angle of less than 15° from horizontal. This crater is quite unusual. Look closely to the south, do you see a positive relief feature? Again look north, up or down? Light is coming from the upper left, if you rotate the image 180° you might have an easier time seeing the topography correctly. Is this an oblique impact? Perhaps not, it appears an impact occurred between two boulders effecting the crater shape and ejecta pattern. This crater formed on the downhill slope of a large crater terrace. The two boulders are likely part of the slumped wall and served to deflect the ejecta mimicking the oblique impact butterfly pattern.

LROC WAC monochrome mosaic context image of today's Featured Image. Arrow points to the oblique crater. Image width is 100 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The full NAC image provides a great view of the whole sloped wall.

Related Posts: Asymmetric Ejecta, Bright Crater Rays and Boulders

Published by Drew Enns on 18 April 2011