London: NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured shots of a massive Aristarchus crater on moon, which is even visible to the naked eye.
The space probe flew over the moon at just 16.2 miles up to take shots of the crater that was created when a huge comet or asteroid slammed into a plateau on the surface.
Sixteen miles up is just over twice the height that jets fly on Earth. The cliffs of the Aristarchus crater are two miles high - twice as deep as the Grand Canyon - with layers of minerals exposed by the huge impact tumbling into the crater below, the Daily Mail reported.
The archaeology of the mammoth crater almost resembles a ‘strip mine’ on earth - cutting deep into the layers of minerals on the moon.
The planners of Apollo missions had placed Aristarchus crater high on their list of targets for human exploration on the moon.
Aristarchus crater is situated on the southeast edge of the Aristarchus Plateau.
The floor of Aristarchus crater provides explorers a unique opportunity to study a great variety of lunar rocks and geologic processes, perhaps including how lunar granite forms.