Tycho crater is about 85 kilometers (53 miles) in diameter, and its central peak rises more than 2000 meters (6562 feet) above the crater floor. It is amazing to think that this giant crater formed within a few minutes! Imagine the view from Earth, a bright flash followed by several minutes of subsequent small impacts moving radially outwards as ejected material impacts much of the nearside. After the dust settles there is a glowing cauldron of impact melt 50 kilometers across. Then quite a show 3 to 4 days later as lunar material rains down on Earth, creating a spectacular meteor shower. Alas, no people were around 100 million years ago to enjoy the spectacle, but Cretaceous dinosaurs had a front row seat!
Impact melt ejected during crater formation coated much of the exterior of the crater, the now hardened melt veneer is seen as darker shades of gray (foreground). Steep slopes shed material exposing fresh rock, which shows up as nearly white on the far wall and central peak.
Explore in full detail the interior of Tycho crater.
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