Rima Prinz and Vera
Rima Prinz is a channel (a lunar sinuous rille) carved by lava flow. It lies just north of Prinz crater, about 100 km east of the Aristarchus Plateau in Oceanus Procellarum. The source of the lava is a volcanic depression named Vera. Together they create the appearance of a snake with its head near the rim of Prinz crater and its body stretching some 75 km, first to the west and then turning sharply north.
Vera may have formed as a lava lake fed by multiple eruptions of a fire fountain volcano, similar to Mauna Ulu in Hawaii, but vastly larger. Rima Prinz is a hundred times deeper and ten times longer than similar channels on Earth.
The visualization uses Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) imagery at multiple resolutions to show both small details and global context. It also uses a combination of elevation datasets derived from both LROC narrow-angle camera images and laser altimetry (LOLA). More information about the LROC datasets can be found here. The narrated videos are available in both English and Spanish.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
Papers used in this visualization
Hurwitz, D. M., J. W. Head, L. Wilson, and H. Hiesinger (2012), Origin of lunar sinuous rilles: Modeling effects of gravity, surface slope, and lava composition on erosion rates during the formation of Rima Prinz, J. Geophys. Res., 117, E00H14
Datasets used in this visualization
LRO DEM (Digital Elevation Map)ID: 653Collected with LOLA
LRO WAC 643nm High Sun Global MosaicID: 803Mosaic Collected with LROC
LRO Stereo DEMID: 835Model Collected with LROC NAC
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC WAC Global Morphological Map (Global Morphological Map)ID: 926Mosaic Collected with Wide-Angle Camera
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.