Mare Crisium has been the site of numerous historical reports of TLP (transient lunar phenomena), and also the sensational (and utterly mistaken) 1953 report by journalist John O'Neill of an artificial bridge over part of the mare1,2. It's also the site of the so-called "spire," which may well be yet another scanner fault. It certainly isn't, as both Bara and Hoagland have written, part of a box several miles high. Even those satellite dishes, that I blogged about on October 12th, are right around here.
But back to Picard. Mike Bara shows us this picture, a small detail from AS16-121-19438:
caption: High contrast version of crater Picard from AS16-121-19438
That image was taken after Apollo 16's LM, Orion, had returned to orbit following three highly fruitful moonwalks. It's a really wide angle, showing fully a third of the lunar hemisphere. Bara writes (p.103):
This unmistakable pie-slice shaped structure glows in the sunlight, illuminating what must be the last remaining piece of a solid, watch-crystal like dome over the crater itself.Under intense enhancement, the wedge-shaped piece is even more obvious. (emphasis added)
That "what must be" is a strong contender for "most unscientific statement written this century." As with the satellite dishes, it's a profound mystery why Mike Bara chose this extremely poor image of Picard, when an image at approximately 0.8m resolution is so easily available from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (14.6°N, 54.7°E). Here it is:
photo credit: LROC NAC
Where's that pie-slice now, Bara? Eh?? EH?????
1. See Bulletin of the Astronomical Institutes of Czechoslovakia, vol. 8, p.33
2. O'Neill's Bridge (wikispaces)