Copernicus Central Peak: Another Layered Target

Oblique view of tall, rugged lunar mountains. Bright sunlight casts dramatic shadows between the peaks.
NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
October 8, 2018
CreditNASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
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The central peak in the Moon's Copernicus crater reveals the complexity of the lunar crust through distinct layering and patchy surface brightness. The area shown here is about 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) wide.

Copernicus, which is easily seen with a moderately powerful backyard telescope, is one of the best-known craters on the Moon. Despite its age (around 860 million years), it is well preserved, with over 2.5 miles (4000 meters) of relief from floor to rim, and the tallest of its central peaks rises nearly a mile (approximately 1300 meters) above the crater floor. This image, centered on the central peaks, was captured just after dawn by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.