Mountain in a crater! – Tycho

Seen here is the 86 km wide Tycho crater, with a central peak!

Tycho crater and its fantastic central peak. Credit: NASA LROC

Tycho was formed about 108 million years ago due to an impact by a large asteroid. You must have seen bright, beautiful rays shooting out of a southern crater on the Moon. That is material ejected during the impact reaching all the way up to 1,500 kilometers!

The crater floor is at a depth of 4.8 kilometers while the central mountain rises 1.6 kilometers above the floor. The mountain is thought to be formed as material rebounded back up after being compressed in the impact.

The central peak of Tycho  crater. Credit: NASA LRO

Since the crater is only 108 million years old, the dinosaurs probably were witness to this fantastic collision event. Sampling the floor of Tycho crater via future lunar missions is one of the important goals for planetary scientists. Its young age makes it a well-preserved place to study the mechanics of how an impact crater forms.



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