Moon Crater Tycho’s Central Peak On The Moon

Tycho Crater’s Central Peak on the Moon

LRO or NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft aimed the LOR’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera NACs to catch an exciting sunrise picture of Moon crater Tycho.

If you want to learn more about how to view the Moon from a telescope or a pair of binocular, then head over to this interesting article: How To See The Moon: Best Telescope Viewing Tips.

Tycho crater is a highly popular target with amateur astronomers. The crater is found at 43.37°S, 348.68°E, and is approximately 51 miles (82 km) in diameter. 


Moon crater Tycho central peak complex, in this picture, is about 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) wide, left to right in this view. Credit: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University.
Moon crater Tycho central peak complex, in this picture, is about 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) wide, left to right in this view. Credit: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University.

Tycho’s Floor To Its Rim Is About 2.92 Miles (4.7 km)

The top of the central peak is 1.24 miles (2 km) above the Tycho crater floor. And the distance from Moon crater Tycho’s floor to its rim is about 2.92 miles (4.7 km).

Many Moonrock fragments so-called “clasts” varying in size from some 33 feet or ten meters to hundreds of yards are exposed in the center peak slopes. 

Were these unique outcrops formed as a consequence of deformation and crushing of the target rock as the peak developed, or do they represent preexisting Moonrock layers that were transported intact to the surface?

Tycho Crater is About 110 Million Years Old

Moon crater Tycho’s features are so sharp and steep because the lunar crater is only around 110 million years old. But it is quite young by lunar standards. 

Furthermore, over long time micrometeorites and not-so-micro meteorites, will disintegrate and erode these sheer slopes into smooth mountains. For a preview of Moon crater, Tycho’s central peak may look like in a few billion years. Just take a look at Bhabha crater.


This Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photo mosaic shows Tycho crater. North is up in this image, which is about 81 miles wide (130 kilometers). 
Credit: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University.
This Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photo mosaic shows Tycho crater. North is up in this image, which is about 81 miles wide (130 kilometers).
Credit: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University.

On May 27, 2010, LOR or the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took a top-down view of the summit (below), including the colossal boulder seen in the above image. 

Pictures From The LOR – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera 

Furthermore, see the fractured impact melt deposit that surrounds the boulder. And the flat area on top of the rock, is that too frozen impact melt? 

And these pictures from the LOR – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera obviously show that the central peak molded very fast. 

The central peak was there when impact melt that was hurled straight up during the impact came back down, forming mountains almost immediately. Or did the melt get there by another mechanism? 

The fractures probably developed over time as the sheer walls of the center peak gradually eroded and slipped downhill. Finally, the peak will erode back, and this large boulder will slide 1.24 miles or two kilometers to the crater floor.


A vertical look of Moon crater Tycho's central peak summit, highlighting the 400-foot-wide boulder. Credit: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University.
A vertical look of Moon crater Tycho’s central peak summit, highlighting the 400-foot-wide boulder. Credit: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University.

That’s it, and I hope you enjoyed this short article. If you want to learn more about this fascinating crater, then go here and find out everything you need to know about Tycho crater. You will be amazed.

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