Rima Prinz and Vera

December 5, 2017
CreditNASA/GSFC/NASA Scientific Visualization Studio
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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. From NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.