This is a view of the side of Lobachevsky crater as photographed by the Apollo 16 astronauts. Note the dark anomaly in the side of the crater. The white streak is an artifact produced by the digital scanning process, but there is a very bright white cap or bright round feature which can be seen in the Clementine images, as well as the unusual dark area. NASA identifies the dark feature as a lava flow. However, this feature exhibits apparent shading suggesting that it may be a crevass. There is also an unusual bluish 'pillbox' object to the right of the rim, in the base of the crater. The coordinates of the dark anomaly are 10.0 N latitude, 111.6 E longitude.

These are two stereo images of the anomalous feature in the side of Lobachevsky, from Clementine. Note the cave-like appearance of the feature, which is not completely dark as would be expected with a lava flow. Notice the several linear features which appear to form a bridge from the rim of the crater to the 'island' in the center of the feature. There is also a spherical object at the top of the island, as well as two small dark spots at the base of the 'island', which appears to have a horizontal linear feature just below the two dark spots. Also, note the two bright spots below the dark feature which correspond to the blue objects in the image from Apollo.

The shape of this part of the crater appears to have changed significantly since the Apollo image was taken over 20 years earlier. Could this area have been changed as the result of excavation or mining operations being conducted in the area?

Here is a closeup of the anomalous feature.

These are various permutations of the 900, 950 and 1100 nm images from Clementine combined into false color images. The ..._cde, correspond to the red-green-blue color mapping: C = 900 nm, D = 950 nm, E = 1100 nm. Notice the predominance of 900 nm reflectance of the minerals around the anomaly on the side of Lobachevsky and the other points which exibit a similar 900 nm refectivity as evidenced by the anomalous coloration over the predominately 1100 nm background.


These are more false color images made from 450, 750, 900, 950 and 1100 nm images from Clementine. The there is increased reflectivity at 450 and 900 nm by materials surrounding the anomaly which may lead to clues about how it was formed.
This is a false-color multi-spectral 'stereo' image of the Lobachevsky anomaly made from 450, 900, and 950 nm images mapped to red-green-blue on the left, and 750, 900, and 1100 nm images mapped to r-g-b on the right. The bright 'cap' is clearly visible at above the dark anomaly. Additional details can be seen in the crater floor including ejecta trails and unusual linear structures to the right of the anomaly at the base and across the face of the crater. The blue 'pillbox' object can be seen at the lower right, which appears to bisected by a linear object which causes the pillbox to appear to be two separate objects in some of the Clementine images.

This is the original .tif version (540K) of the above image. Note the imprvoment in low level detail compared to the .jpg above which was saved with a compression factor of only 5%.

This is a portion of the Far NE farside map of this area. 

This is a large browse image of the area. Lobachevsky is the large crater on the right. The dark anomaly appears at approximately 8:30. 

Tom Carey:

Radiating antisunward from the vertical anomaly, there appears to be a faint line across the crater floor, aligned toward the string of three small craters near the brightly lit mound at the right hand edge of the image, and reaching just under half the distance to that mound. A second fainter line with the same origin and approximate length can be seen approximately 10 degrees clockwise from the first.

These lines may or may not be shadows, but ought to be considered as associated with the anomaly.

Jon, VGL:

Guys I have been looking at that black streak and my copy of "Geologic Answers for All Anomalies" sez it could only be 3 things:

1. Highly carbonized petroleum oil (just kidding)

2. A highly unusual Obsidian flow (volcanic glass)

3. A deep crack or fissure in the surface

I am leaning toward answer number 3, because the far wall of the opening appears to be sloping toward the black area. That may a trick of light and shadow but while we await higher resolution that is my call.

The blue pill? I have no idea. Anyone have any idea how big that thing is?

Lan Flemming:

In the Clementine image that Steve found - which is very good, byt the way - the black streaks do look like they're following crevices in the surface, so they might just be deep, shadowed cracks. However, the sun angle in the Clem photos is very high, and the bottom surfaces of all but the deepest cracks should be exposed to sunlight and therefore not appear black. I noticed what appear to be rays extending out from the small crater in the same direction as the black streaks, so those streaks may have something to do with the impact that formed the small crater. But the streaks might also be some sort of liquid that slopped out of the crater long after the impact and just flowed down the path of least resistance (the deepest crevices in the surface of Lobachevsky).

Farouk El-Baz: "This is an oblique view looking northwest at part of the wall of the crater Lobachevsky (not Guyat) on the lunar far side. It shows a small crater on Lobachevsky's wall with unusual streaks of dark material that appeared to have originated from the lower rim of the structure and to have moved down the floor of Lobachevsky. This feature was first noticed by T. K. Mattingtly, the Apollo 16 CMP, who described the darker streaks as possible lava flows (Mattingtly, El-Baz, and Laidley, 1972). However, the streaks can also be explained by the downslope movement of dark fragmental debris excavated from Lobachevsky's wall by the small crater. Closer to the lower border of the photograph is a bright area extending across Lobachevsky's rim. This area and other sinuous light-colored markings in the upper half of the photograph are on the periphery of an enormous field of light-colored swirls in this part of the far side (El-Baz, 1972a). The origin of the swirls is not well understood."
-- "Apollo Over the Moon: A View From Orbit"

Here is NASA's description, which misidentifies the crater as Guyot rather than Lobachevsky:

Title: Oblique view of rim of Guyot crater on lunar farside as seen by Apollo 16 Description: An oblique view of a rim of Guyot crater on the lunar farside, as photographed from the Apollo 16 spacecraft in lunar orbit. The coordinates of the center of Guyot crater are 116.5 degrees east longitude and 10.5 degrees north latitude. Note the black coloration which appears to be lava flow down the side of the crater rim.

NASA Photo ID: AS16-121-19407 File Name: 10075825.jpg Film Type: 70mm Date Taken: 04/18/72

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Last Updated: 10:00PM on 5/6/98