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Dr. Don Wilhelms, the geologist in charge of the preparation of lunar maps at the United States Geological Survey shows how the Lunar Orbiter photographs have been interpreted to build up an unders...tanding of surface features such as the huge multi-ring basins, the lunar highlands and the maria plains. Craters on earth, such as Meteorite Crater, and simulation experiments in the laboratory help to reveal the mechanics of impact cratering. Dr Don Gault, the project controller for the NASA experiments on cratering shows the results of these experiments. Very high speed film is used to slow down the events and show what exactl;y happens during impact. A sereis of paintings of the Moon are used to reconstruct the dramatic events that must have occurred in the formation of the giant Imbrium Basin and to illustrate the subsequent events in the geological history of the moon.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S333, Earth science topics and methods
Item code: S333; 14
First transmission date: 05-09-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:15
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Producer: Peter Clark
Contributors: Peter Francis; Don Wilhelms
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Imbrium Basin; Lunar Orbiter photographs; Meteorite Crater Arizona; Moon paintings; Simulation experiments
Footage description: Peter Francis, with a large photograph of Copernicus (Mt. Wilson Observatory, 1920), introduces the programme. Don Wilhelms uses a large mosaic photograph, taken by Lunar Orbiter 4 in 1967, to examine some of the basic elements of lunar geology, particularly for the area around Copernicus. Wilhelms points to evidence on the photograph which suggests that Copernicus is of volcanic origin. Wilhelms next uses the Orbiter mosaic to examine the very large lunar craters, particularly the Imbrium Basin. He points out the evidence which suggests that these large lunar basins are of impact origin. Wilhelms summarises the evidence for the dual origin of basin and mare materials, the basin being of impact origin while the mare materials overlying the basins are volcanic. Wilhelms carries on with his discussion of lunar geology using Orbiter mosaic photographs and pointing out further evidence for the origins of various features. Peter Francis, in a studio with a geological map of the nearside of the moon, briefly explains how a study of earth craters helps in understanding the stratigraphy of impact cratering on the Moon. Still shots of the great meteorite crater in Arizona. Film shots of experiments at Moffat Field, California which duplicate meteorite impacts in the laboratory. Peter Francis (voice over) points out the various pieces of apparatus (light gas gun, etc.) and explains what is happening during the experiment. Don Gault explains how a static model can be built of such an experiment so that the stratigraphy of impact cratering can be studied in detail. Peter Francis (mostly voice over) uses a series of paintings of the moon to reconstruct the evolution of the moon from pre-Imbrian times to the present.
Master spool number: 6HT/72029
Production number: 00525_1220
Videofinder number: 2000
Available to public: no