Chandrayaan-2 imaged Sarabhai crater on the Moon

On 30th July 2020, Terrain Mapping Camera – 2 (TMC-2) onboard ISRO’s Chandrayaan – 2 captured the Sarabhai Crater on Mare Serenitatis in the north east quadrant of the Moon.

Image credit: ISRO

Mare Serenitatis, which host the Sarabhai crater is one of the lunar mare region on the Moon, with vast lava plains creating a near flat surface. To the east and ~250-300 km of Sarabhai crater is the landing site of Apollo 17 and Luna 21 missions.

Sarabhai crater is named after an Indian astrophysicist Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, regarded as the Father of Indian Space program, and the Founder of Physical Research Laboratory and a distinguished cosmic-ray and space scientist. The birth centenary of Dr. Sarabhai is being celebrated by ISRO.

The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and 3D view of the crater generated using the Fore, Nadir and Aft images from TMC-2 reveals average depth of the crater as ~1.7 km from the raised crater rim and average slope of the crater walls is in the range 25-30°. This Sarabhai crater outer region is dominated by numerous smaller craters of varying diameter distributed over the flat Mare plains, and is devoid of any large crater (diameter >10 km) in its vicinity (~100 km around).  The raised rim, the gradient inner walls and the small hummocky floor makes the Sarabhai crater an excellent example to understand the impact processes on the lava filled region of the Moon.