Rolling Stones

Moon boulders leave telltale tracks
Moon boulders leave telltale tracks

This closeup of a mapping image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the rolling, bouncing trails left by lunar boulders as they travelled down the slopes of Tsiolkovskiy Crater’s central peak.

These boulders, several meters across, lost their footing in the dusty lunar soil at some point and rolled downhill to where they lay now. It’s not known whether they all originated from the peak of the crater itself, or if they were forcibly thrown there at some point by an impact further away. It’s hard to tell without actually studying them and their original positions in person.

A triangular boulder leaves a sidewinding trail
A triangular boulder leaves a sidewinding trail

It is interesting to see the evidence of their travels, though. Things, it seems, aren’t so still on the moon after all.

(If a boulder falls on the moon, and there’s no one there to hear it…..)

Image credits: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Bookmark and Share