Planets and Moons
Visualizing Shackleton Crater
These computer-generated images are centered on Shackleton, a well-preserved, bowl-shaped crater, 21 kilometers wide and 4 km deep, at the Moon's south pole. Shackleton's floor is in perpetual shadow, but LOLA, the laser altimeter on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, reveals boulders and low hills, or hummocks, formed by material slumping from the crater's sides. Shackleton's cold interior may harbor water ice and other volatiles that would evaporate rapidly if exposed to the Sun. In contrast, some points on the rim of the crater are in persistent sunshine and may be ideal places for solar panels. The ridge on the far side of the crater in this view connects Shackleton's rim to the rim of the adjacent crater Slater. Another ridge, just out of frame on the left, connects to de Gerlache crater. Certain points on these ridges are also in persistent sunshine.
For More Information
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio