Listern to my interview on Star Stuff with Stuart Gary discussing how impact craters enable us to constrain the atmospheric pressure on Mars 3.6 Billion years ago!


Since it was first imaged, Tsiolkovskiy crater has been an enigmatic feature on the lunar surface. The 180 km diameter crater, partially filled by mare basalt, has a well preserved central peak and is associated with distinct impact melt and ejecta deposits. Its mare-covered floor stands in stark contrast to the surrounding highlands and is one of the few exposures of mare basalt on the lunar farside.

The population of small craters that have accumulated with the crater and on its ejecta indicate that Tsiolkovskiy formed ~3.3 billion years ago. However, the very high rock abundance derived from the LRO Diviner instrument, and the elevated radar back scatter in the LRO Mini-RF data suggest a very young age making this crater quite unusual.

I decided to have some fun explaining this in my 2013 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference poster using a comic strip format and avatars of myself and my co-authors styled after South Park. This poster has come to be known as the infamous "South Park" poster which can be seen here. Special thanks to SP-Studio for making this possible.