Tycho Crater (43.3°S, 11.2°W) usually enjoys a high-profile existence. Bright streaks that radiate from this 85-kilometer-diameter lunar crater make it easily recognizable and arguably the most impressive feature in the near side’s southern hemisphere. Visually, that is. Though still the most prominent crater in the lunar terrain shown here, Tycho is somewhat less impressive in LOLA’s topography data because the ejecta that forms Tycho’s striking rays is not very thick. The rays are bright in visible light images because Tycho is a relatively young crater. According to dates from ray samples collected during the Apollo 17 mission - in a location over 2,000 km from the crater, Tycho is estimated to be only 108 million years old. Over time, space weathering tends to fade rays, making them less prominent with increasing age.
Tycho’s average depth below the rim is 4,700 meters. It has a central peak that rises 2,400 meters above the crater floor. Tycho and the craters surrounding it are part of the lunar southern highlands. To learn more about Tycho Crater and see it in visible images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, click here
. No larger version available. Credit:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
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