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The Moon's Peary Crater

Published by Matt on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:29 pm via: NASA
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One day in the not-too-distant future, lunar explorers may spend their winter holidays at the lunar North Pole. Peary, an irregularly-shaped impact crater centered at 88.5°N, 30°E, could be the place to do just that.

A junction between the rims of three craters on the floor of Peary crater near the lunar north pole is evident in this image. Note the mottled texture of the regolith. Peary is a key exploration site for future astronauts due its proximity to potential resources. Credit:NASA

A junction between the rims of three craters on the floor of Peary crater near the lunar north pole is evident in this image. Note the mottled texture of the regolith. Peary is a key exploration site for future astronauts due its proximity to potential resources. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Adjacent to the lunar north pole, Peary has areas along its crater floor cast in permanent shadow, but it also has areas along its rim that may be permanently illuminated by the Sun. The proximity to the north pole, possible areas of permanent shadow and light, plus the potential for in-situ resources make Peary crater a challenging and enticing location for future human and robotic exploration. Peary crater is one of 50 specific sites being explored by lunar geologists using LROC images for NASA’s Constellation Program.

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