Moon rills and Apollo 15

The present ‘image of the month’ shown at the top of the right-hand margin is one of Ken Kennedy’s photographs of the moon’s surface. Ken and colleagues from Dundee Astronomical Society [1] have worked with the Living Field for years, exhibiting at our open days and writing about the sun, moon and atmosphere [2].

Here’s the photograph:

The moon surface showing the Hyginus Rille – a thin line stretching (just below centre) diagonally down to the right – and the complex of rills around the Triesnecker crater, 11 May 2019 (Ken Kennedy)

“The image you have chosen shows the dogleg of the Hyginus Rille, a volcanic feature along which you will see a series of small craterlets.  Above the Hyginus Rille and to right centre you will see a distinct but fairly small crater called Triesnecker.  When I took the image I was attempting to catch the complex of rilles around this crater and, on this occasion, I was successful.”

“These rilles are believed to be of ‘tectonic’ origin which probably means that they are ‘cracks’ in the Moon’s surface due to early shrinkage and moonquakes.  Other rilles are caused by lava flow or graben faults causing collapse of a section of ground.”

Apollo moon missions

“The memory seeing Apollo 11 live on television 50 years ago is still vivid in my mind. Although I did not meet Armstrong or Aldrin I did meet David Scott, commander of Apollo 15 when he visited Mills Observatory in 2005.  I was astronomer there at the time and was able to ask the seventh man to walk on the Moon about Hadley Rille near to where Apollo 15 landed. “

“David Scott and James Irwin took the lunar rover to the edge of Hadley Rille and he told me that, contrary to it’s telescopic appearance, the walls of the rille are at an angle of about 45 degrees.  He said that he could have walked into the rille – but did not do so! 

 He was kind enough to sign a photograph of himself on the Moon beside Hadley Rille.  I have also attached an image I took in May which shows the Apollo 15 landing site.”

With thanks to Ken for the moon images and the historical connection.

Sources, links

[1] Dundee Astronomical Society has a very active membership and an extensive web site: dundeeastro.

[2] More on the Society can be found on this Living Field page livingfield/people/dundeeastro.

[2] Jim, Ken, June Andy and Tony from DAS demonstrated telescopes and astronomical images at Open Farm Sunday on 9 June 2019 – “one of the busiest we ever attended”. On the day, Geoff Squire and Glady Wright from the Living Field project were presented with certificates as Honorary Members of DAS. With thanks!