New Lunar Crater Named after Diviner team member Joshua Bandfield

On July 8, 2022, the name Bandfield crater was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in memoriam of Dr. Joshua Bandfield who unexpectedly passed away in June of 2019. The crater is located on the southwest edge of Mare Smythii (5.40° S, 90.77° E) at the eastern limb of the Moon. Dr. Bandfield discovered a class of very young craters (about 100,000 to 1,000,000 years old) that have anomalously cold nighttime surface temperatures extending far beyond their rocky ejecta, which he termed “cold spots.” Bandfield crater has a diameter of 1 km (0.62 miles) and is associated with one of the most prominent cold spots on the Moon. He identified over 2000 cold spots using the Diviner instrument, including the cold spot formed by Bandfield crater, and his catalog of cold spots continues to be used in ongoing studies by the Diviner team to shed new light on the processes and timescales of lunar regolith generation and overturn.

(left) Regolith nighttime temperatures derived by Dr. Bandfield showing the cold spot generated by Bandfield crater. (right) An image captured by the LRO camera (LROC) of Bandfield crater surrounded by bright, fresh material ejected by the impact event.

You can read more about Dr. Bandfield here:

And his work on cold spots:

Bandfield, J. L., R. R. Ghent, A. R. Vasavada, D. A. Paige, S. J. Lawrence, and M. S. Robinson (2011), Lunar surface rock abundance and regolith fines temperatures derived from LRO Diviner Radiometer data. J. Geophys. Res., 116, E00H02, doi:10.1029/2011JE003866.

Bandfield, J. L., E. Song, P. O. Hayne, B. D. Brand, R. R. Ghent, A. R. Vasavada, and D. A. Paige (2014), Lunar cold spots: Granular flow features and extensive insulating materials surrounding young craters, Icarus, 231(0), 221-231.

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