Tycho crater is an one of the most prominent craters on the Moon – it appears as a bright spot in the southern highlands with rays of bright material that stretch across much of the nearside.
Its prominence is not due to its size: at 85 km in diameter, it’s a just one among thousands of this size or larger. What really makes Tycho stand out is its relative youth. It formed recently enough that its beautiful rays, material ejected during the impact event, are still visible as bright streaks.
How old is Tycho? Because the impact event scattered material to such great distances, it’s thought that some of the samples at the Apollo 17 landing site originated at the Tycho impact site. These samples are of impact melt glass, and radiometric age dating tells us that they formed 108 million years ago. So if these samples are truly from Tycho, the crater formed 108 million years ago as well. Though this may still seem old, compared to the 3.9 billion-year age for many large lunar craters, Tycho is the new kid on the block.
The floor of the crater is covered in impact melt – rocks that were heated to such high temperatures during the impact event that they turned to liquid, and flowed across the floor.
Rock melted by the Tycho impact event flowed across the floor!
Optical illusion, or…
FACE OF EASTER ISLAND STATUE ON THE MOON?
POSSIBLE SPACECRAFT ON THE MOON?
Video: More MOON Anomalies.
High resolution image of the floor of Tycho crater. Please take a look at the detailed LROC NAC frame – Link: http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc_browse/view/M102230053LE