Fran Ridge              
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      LO2-57M /NEARSIDE

LAC-60 & Arago C

Updated 13 July 2016
Fran Ridge:
Somethime around 1996 Mike Lomax created a report and web page on VGL's web site regarding potential anomalies near Arago C in the Sea of Tranquility, which is on the lunar Near Side.  This was 20 years before LRO began imaging the moon at high resolution. Basically I think he was just pointing out the anomalous features for the record. And I'm not sure what I expected when I made an attempt to check out LRO's imaging of that area.  In any case VGL's site had gone down several years ago and the domain name was resold, so I took it upon myself to restore Mike's file on Arago C and placed it on the Lunascan site. I then obtained a high res image of LO2-57M and began taking a closer looking at that "perturbing crater in a tranquil sea."  I don't know if I was surprised or disappointed in what I found, maybe both.

Mike Lomax:

Most searches for signs of artificial structures on the Moon are for structures rising above the surface. If structures were built on the Moon, it would seem likely that large sections of them would be built below the surface. Given the proposed age (millions of years) of such structures, it would seem likely that some collapse would have occurred for the underground sections.

One part of our search [VGL] has been for signs of collapse, particularly if the collapse features have unusual characteristics, such as regular or geometric structure. Basically we have been looking for anything which might not fit well into the accepted theories for natural formation on the Moon.

The Moon does indeed have natural collapse features, as well as natural dome-shaped features. The trick is not merely to find the unusual, but not to mistake the normal as unusual. When we find what seems to us to be an unusual feature, we first examine possible natural explanations of our own, no matter how unlikely they might seem. If we can arrive at not even an unlikely explanation, we then try to find references to and explanations for such features in the appropriate texts. It was while studying a book called "Moon Morphology" that we began finding features or surface effects which had even the experts scratching their heads.

One place which has such features is in the Sea of Tranquility, coincidentally about eighty miles from the Apollo 11 landing site. Here are a series of shallow depressions with very subdued rims, if any. Some of these depressions are one-quarter of a mile across. Among these depressions are two craters with some very strange debris.

Both craters are seen together in this image. The circled crater in the upper left corner is the unnamed half-mile wide crater that was first presented here. The large crater is the two-mile wide Arago C, the latest area of interest. These craters are approximately three miles apart. Arago C has a larger field of debris and some features at a considerably larger scale than is seen in the first crater. Arago C has other notable differences as well. Note the pronounced raised rim and indications of ejecta and secondary impacts. Unlike the first crater, this one has all the signs of an impact crater and none of the signs of a collapse feature.

Fran Ridge:
But first, a high resolution version of LO2-57M (right) was requested from a friend who had helped us before in 1996. David Williams was working for the National Space & Science Data Center back then and located another overlapping image of the Blair Cuspids for us. The 7.1 meg image of LO2-57M can be accessed in the link below, left-clicking then will enlarge it.

LO2-57M 7237 kb
Original full image of LO2-57M

This investigation is probably over 20 years old, but with the hi-res imaging obtained by the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter a few years ago we are ready to take it to a higher level. Once the coordinates were well-established, the search for good LRO images can begin.

Northernmost Latitude 3.94
Southernmost Latitude 3.84
Easternmost Longitude 21.53
Westernmost Longitude 21.43
Diameter 3.03 km
Center Latitude 3.89
Center Longitude 21.48

LRO/LROC-NAC Observations at point (testing Map Projected NACs) LRO/LROC-NAC Observations at point (testing Map Projected NACs)

To request another location, enter lat,lon in decimal and press submit.
lat: lon:

Preview at (lat, lon) = (3.84, 21.43)Image


This is all I could get on the LROC at those center coords so I went to the ActReact Map and zoomed in on the same numbers.

Here are the target coords at 250 m/pixel still looking good. Arago C is the little dot in the center.

At 16 m/pixel the LROC coverage drops off.

Arago C was skipped. For some reason the LROC didn't image that area. But we're not finished just yet. The area around Arago C that Mike was interested in might still yield some information. Watch for updates.

Fran Ridge,
The Lunascan Project
Member, Society for Planetary & SETI Research

Perturbing Craters The First Crater Arago C Lunar Orbiter