Hit The Slopes!
Things on the Moon don’t always stay put, as the tracks left by these large boulders show!
Part of a LROC mosaic of the 13-mile-wide Giordano Bruno crater, this zoom-in on the crater’s northwest slope shows the tracks left by several lunar boulders as they rolled into the crater at some point in the 10 million years since its creation. One of the boulders — the darker one at upper right — even seems to have broken apart after it came to rest… possibly the result of heating by solar radiation?
Shattered boulders have been spotted before by LRO. Sometimes they even make creepy faces.
Since there’s no weather on the Moon, erosion occurs incredibly slowly. These boulder tracks could be millions of years old, and will likely last for millions more. They’re relatively common features on the lunar surface, but are still interesting reminders that sometimes things can really get rolling on the Moon!
The full-size image is a wonderful mosaic made from images taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter… check it out here. (It’s the only way you’ll see this crater, as it’s on the far side of the Moon!)
Image: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University