The Lunar Maps

The following outline maps have been constructed from two photographs. The whole lunar surface is covered, but the method has two disadvantages. First, the formations near the eastern and western limbs are under high light and are consequently not well seen. Petavius, for instance, in the southeast, is really a majestic crater 100 miles across, and when anywhere near the terminator it is a magnificent object, but under this lighting it is hard to make out at all. Second, the photographs were taken when the Moon was at favourable libration for the east, so that the eastern limb regions are shown slightly better than the western. (Note that "east" and "west" are used in the astronautical sense, as described in Chapter 6, as the IAU has now ratified the change.)

These defects would be serious for a detailed map, but are not important for the present purpose. The observer may compare the map with the photograph given on the opposite page, and it will be easy to recognize the various formations. Once this has been done, serious work can be commenced; after a while, the observer will be able to identify the craters at a glance.

Only a few features are named on these charts; the remaining names will be found on more detailed maps.

The notes given here are, of course, extremely brief; they refer only to objects that are useful for "landmark" purposes, and one or two features of particular interest, such as Linné, the Alpine Valley, and the Straight Wall.

Smyth Sea Moon
Names of the Lunar "Seas"













































THE EASTERN HALF OF THE MOON (Fig. A10.1; Map I) (1) Northeastern Quadrant

In this quadrant lie three major seas, the Maria Serenitatis, Tranquillitatis, and Crisium, with parts of the Mare Vaporum and the Mare Frigoris, as well as the northern part of the Mare Foecunditatis. Mare Serenitatis is the most conspicuous and is one of the best-defined of the lunar seas. On its surface are only two objects of importance, the 12-mile bright crater Bessel and the famous (or infamous) Linné, which used to be described as a deep crater, but is now seen in small telescopes as a mere white spot. A number of ridges cross the Mare Serenitatis. Mare Tranquillitatis is lighter in hue; between it and Serenitatis there is a strait upon which lies the magnificent 30-mile crater Plinius, which has two interior craterlets.

Of the mountain ranges, the most important are those bordering the Mare Serenitatis: the Haemus and the Caucasus Mountains, with peaks rising to 8,000 and 12,000 feet, respectively. Part of the Alps can also be seen, cut through by the strange Alpine Valley. This is an interesting formation, by far the most conspicuous of its type. South of Haemus, and north of the large crater Hipparchus, can be seen the two important clefts of the Mare Vaporum: that of Hyginus (which is basically a crater-chain) and Ariadaeus. Each can be seen with any small telescope when near the terminator.

Close to the eastern limb can be seen two very foreshortened seas, the Maria

Smythii and Marginis, whereas the Mare Humboldtianum lies further north. These can only be well seen under favourable libration.

ARAGO. Diameter 18 miles. It lies on the Mare Tranquillitatis and has a low central elevation. Near it are several of the interesting swellings or "domes".

ARCHYTAS. A bright 21-mile crater on the north coast of the Mare Frigoris. It has a central peak.

ARISTILLUS. Diameter 35 miles, with walls rising to 11,000 feet above the floor. The walls are bright, and there is a central peak. Inside Aristillus are dark patches and streaks. It and Autolycus form a pair. Though it lies on the N.W. Quadrant, Aristillus is better shown in the next photograph.

ARISTOTELES. A prominent crater 52 miles in diameter. It and Eudoxus form a notable pair.

ATLAS. Forms a pair with Hercules; it lies north of the Mare Serenitatis. Diameter 55 miles. The walls are much terraced, rising to 11,000 feet. There is much detail on the floor.

AUTOLYCUS. The companion to Aristillus. Autolycus is 24 miles in diameter and 9,000 feet deep. It, too, is better shown on the next photograph.

BOSCOVICH. On the Mare Vaporum. It is low-walled, irregular formation, recognizable (like its companion Julius) by its very dark floor.

BÜRG. A 28-mile crater between Atlas and Aristoteles, with a large central peak on which is a summit craterlet. West of it lies an old plain traversed by numerous clefts.

CASSINI. On the fringe of the Alps. A curious broken formation, shallow, and 36 miles in diameter. It contains a prominent craterlet, A.

CLEOMEDES. A 78-mile crater near the Mare Crisium. It is broken in the west by a smaller but very deep crater, Tralles.

DIONYSIUS. A brilliant small crater near Sabine and Ritter.

ENDYMION. This 78-mile crater can always be recognized by the darkness of its floor. Patches on the interior seem to vary in hue and should be watched.

EUDOXUS. The companion to Aristoteles. It is 40 miles in diameter, and then 11,000 feet deep.

FIRMINICUS. Closely south of the Mare Crisium. It has a diameter of 35 miles, and can easily be identified by its dark floor.

GAUSS. A magnificent 100-mile crater, not well shown in the photograph, but very conspicuous when on the terminator.

GEMINUS. Diameter 55 miles. It lies near Cleomedes and has lofty walls, which are deeply terraced.

GODIN. Diameter 27 miles. It lies near Ariadaeus and Hyginus. Closely north lies Agrippa, which is slightly larger but somewhat less deep.

HERCULES. The companion of Atlas. It is 45 miles in diameter; the walls are much terraced and appear brilliant at times. Inside Hercules lies a large craterlet, A.

JULIUS CAESAR. A low-walled formation in the Mare Vaporum area. Owing to its dark floor, it is easy to recognize at any time.

MACROBIUS. A 42-mile crater near the Mare Crisium, with walls rising to 13,000 feet. There is low compound central mountain mass.

MANILIUS. A 25-mile crater on the Mare Vaporum, notable because of its brilliant walls.

MENELLAUS. Another brilliant crater; 20 miles in diameter, lying in the Haemus

Mountains. Like Manilius, its brightness makes it easy to identify. POSIDONIUS. A 62-mile plain on the border of the Mare Serenitatis. Adjoining it to the east is a smaller, squarish formation, Chacornac, and south is Le Monnier, one of the "bays" with a broken-down seaward wall. PROCLUS. Closely west of the Mare Crisium. It is one of the most brilliant formations on the Moon and is the centre of a ray system. Diameter 18 miles. SABINE AND RITTER. Two 18-mile craters on the west border of the Mare Tranquillitatis. Northeast of Ritter are two small equal craterlets. This area was photographed in detail by the U.S. probe Ranger VIII in 1965 and was again photographed from Apollo XI in 1969. The first lunar landing was made in the Mare Tranquillitatis, some distance east of Sabine and Ritter. SCORESBY. A very distinct formation 36 miles across, near the North Pole. It is much the most conspicuous formation in its area and is thus very useful as a landmark. TARUNTIUS. A 38-mile crater south of the Mare Crisium, with narrow walls and a low central hill. It is a "concentric crater", as it contains a complete inner ring.

(2) South-East Quadrant

This quadrant is occupied by rugged uplands, and large and small craters abound. The only major seas are the small, well-marked Mare Nectaris and most of the larger Mare Foecunditatis; the Mare Australe, near the limb, is much less well-defined. The only mountain summits of note are those very near the limb, some of which attain great altitudes. The so-called Altai Mountains are really in the nature of a scarp associated with the Mare Nectaris system.

ALBATEGNIUS. A magnificent walled plain near the centre of the disk; the companion of Hipparchus. Diameter 80 miles. The southwest wall is disturbed by a deep 20-mile crater, Klein. CAPELLA. A 30-mile crater near Theophilus. It has a very long massive central mountain, topped by a summit craterlet; the floor of Capella is crossed by a deep valley. It has a shallower companion, Isidorus. CUVIER. This forms an interesting group with Licetus and the irregular Heraclitus. Cuvier is 50 miles across and lies on the terminator in the photograph, not far from the top of the page. FABRICIUS. A 55-mile crater, not well shown in the photograph owing to the high light. It has a companion of similar size, Metius. Fabricius interrupts the vast ruined plain Janssen. GUTENBERG. This and its companion Goclenius lie on the highland between the

Mare Nectaris and Foecunditatis. To the north lie some delicate clefts. HIPPARCHUS. Well shown on the photograph, but it is low-walled and broken, so that it becomes obscure when away from the terminator. It is 84 miles in diameter and is the companion of Albategnius. Ptolemaeus lies closely west of it.

LANGRENUS. An 85-mile crater, with high walls and central mountain. It is a member of the great Eastern Chain, which extends from Furnerius in the south and includes Petavius, Vendelinus, Mare Crisium, Cleomedes, Geminus, and Endymion. It was in Langrenus that Dollfus detected "moving patches", thereby confirming the reality of Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP). MAUROLYCUS. A deep 75-mile crater, well shown in the photograph; in the far south of the Moon. West of it lies the larger plain Stofler, which has a darkish floor.

MESSIER. This curious little crater lies on the Mare Foecunditatis. It and its companion, Messier A, show curious apparent changes in form and size. Extending west of them is a strange bright ray, rather like a comet's tail. PETAVIUS. Not well shown on the photograph; but it is a magnificent object when better placed. Closely east of it is Palitzsch, which is generally described as a valley-like groove; but using very large telescopes, I found it to be a crater-chain. This was confirmed by orbiter photographs. PICCOLOMINI. A 56-mile crater south of Fracastorious and the Mare Nectaris. It is deep and conspicuous, and lies at the eastern end of the Altai range. RHEITA. A 42-mile crater. Associated with it is the famous Rheita Valley. This has been described as a "groove" and attributed to a falling meteorite; but is in fact a crater-chain, and no such explanation can be admitted. There is another similar formation not far off, associated with the crater. Reichenbach lies not far from the Mare Australe. STEINHEIL. This 42-mile crater forms a pair of "Siamese twins" with its similar but shallower neighbour, Watt. Near the Mare Australe. THEOPHILUS. The northern member of the grand chain of which Cyrillus and Catharina are the other members. Theophilus is 65 miles across and 18,000 feet deep; it is one of the most magnificent of the lunar craters. There is a lofty, complex central elevation. VENDELINUS. One of the Eastern Chain. It is 100 miles across but is comparatively low-walled, and is conspicuous only when near the terminator. VLACQ. One of a group of large ring-plains near Janssen, not far from the Mare

Australe. It is 56 miles in diameter and 10,000 feet deep. WERNER. A 45-mile crater, shadow-filled in the photograph. It forms a pair with its neighbour Aliacensis, and close by are three more pairs of formations: Apian-Playfair, Azophi-Abenezra, and Abulfeda-Almanon. WILHELM HUMBOLDT. Not recognizable on the photograph, as it lies on the eastern limb near Petavius, but it is 120 miles across, with high walls and central mountain, and is magnificent just after full Moon.

THE WESTERN HALF OF THE MOON (Fig. A10.2; Map II) (1) North-West Quadrant

This quadrant consists largely of "sea"; there is the magnificent Mare Imbrium, with a diameter of 700 miles, as well as parts of the even vaster but less well-defined Oceanus Procellarum, and most of the Mare Frigoris and the Sinus Roris. The chief mountains are the Apennines (certainly the most spectacular on the Moon) and the Jura Mountains, which form part of the Imbrian border. On the limb are the Hercynian Mountains. There are also the lower Carpathians, near Copernicus. Near full Moon, the most conspicuous objects are Copernicus and

Kepler, which are the centres of bright ray systems, and Plato, whose floor is so dark that it can never be mistaken, whereas Aristarchus is the most brilliant formation on the Moon. Eratosthenes, too, is a grand crater.

ANAXAGORAS. A 32-mile crater not far from the North Pole. It is the centre of a ray system, and is always distinct. ARCHIMEDES. A 50-mile plain on the Mare Imbrium, with a darkish floor and rather low walls. It forms a superb group with Aristillus and Autolycus. ARISTARCHUS. The brightest formation on the Moon. Associated with its companion, Herodotus, is a great winding valley. The whole area is particularly subject to Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP) and should be systematically watched. COPERNICUS. The great 56-mile ray-crater, described in the text. SINUS IRIDUM. A glorious bay on the border of the Mare Imbrium. When the Sun is rising over it, the rays catch the bordering Jura Mountains, and the bay seems to stand out into the darkness like a handle of glittering jewels. KEPLER. A 22-mile crater on the Oceanus Procellarum, centre of a very conspicuous system of bright rays. South of it is a crater of similar size, Encke, which is however shallower and is not associated with any bright rays. OLBERS. A crater on the west limb. It lies north of Grimaldi, and is 40 miles in diameter. It is not identifiable on the photograph, because of the high light and unfavourable libration; but it is prominent when well placed, and is the centre of a ray system.

PHILOLAUS. A crater near the limb, 46 miles in diameter. It forms a pair with its neighbour Anaximenes. Reddish hues have been reported inside Philolais, perhaps indicating some unusual surface deposit. PICO. A splendid 8,000-foot mountain on the Mare Imbrium, south of Plato, with at least three peaks. Some way southeast of it is Piton, which is also shown on the first photograph and has a summit craterlet. PLATO. This regular, 60-mile formation has a dark floor, and is one of the most interesting features on the Moon. Inside it are some delicate craterlets that show baffling changes in visibility. Plato is always identifiable, and will well repay close and continuous attention. PYTHAGORAS. A very deep crater 85 miles in diameter, not well shown in the photograph, but magnificent when well placed. There are numerous large formations in this area, but the whole region is very foreshortened as seen from Earth.

STRAIGHT RANGE. A peculiar range of peaks on the Mare Imbrium, near Plato. It is 40 miles long, and the highest mountains attain 6,000 feet. TIMOCHARIS. A 23-mile crater on the Mare Imbrium, containing a central crater-let. It is the centre of a rather inconspicuous system of rays.

(2) South-West Quadrant

This quadrant is crammed with interesting features. In the northern part of it lie the well-marked Marc Humorum, part of the Oceanus Procellarum, and most of the vast Mare Nubium: the southern part is mainly rough upland. The chief mountain ranges are the curious low Riphaeans, on the Mare Nubium; the Percy Mountains, forming part of the border of the Mare Humorum; and the Dorfels,

Rook Mountains, Cordilleras, and D'Alemberts on the limb. It is now known that these ranges are associated with the Mare Orientale, which is never well seen from

Earth; orbiter and Apollo pictures show it to be a vast, complex structure, unlike anything else on the Moon.

ALPHONSUS. The great crater close to Ptolemaeus. Dark patches may be seen on its floor. It was at Alphonsus that Kozyrev, in 1958, reported a visible outbreak of activity. The U.S. vehicle Ranger IX landed in Alphonsus in 1965.

BAILLY. Very obscure on the photograph; but it is almost 180 miles across, and on the Earth-turned hemisphere is thus the largest of the objects generally classed as "craters". It has been aptly described as a "field of ruins".

BILLY. A 30-mile crater S. of Grimaldi. It can be identified at any time because of its very dark floor; it is always distinct. It has a near neighbour, Hansteen, with a much lighter floor.

BIRT. A crater 11 miles in diameter, in the Mare Nubium, near the Straight Wall. It has walls that rise unusually high above the outer plain, and inside it are two of the strange radial bands.

BULLIALDUS. A splendid 39-mile crater on the Mare Nubium, with terraced walls and a central peak. This is one of the most perfect of the ring-plains.

CLAVIUS. Clavius is 145 miles across, with walls containing peaks 17,000 feet above the floor. Inside it can be seen a chain of craters, decreasing in size from east to west. When right on the terminator, Clavius can be identified with the naked eye.

CRUGER. A low-walled crater near Grimaldi, 30 miles in diameter. It can be identified on the photograph by the darkness of its floor, which is rather similar to Billy's.

DOPPELMAYER. An interesting 40-mile bay on the Mare Humorum. The seaward wall can just be traced, and there is a much reduced central mountain.

EUCLIDES. Only 7 miles in diameter, but surrounded by a prominent bright nimbus, well shown on the photographs. It lies near the Riphaean Mountains.

FRA MAURO. One of a group of damaged ring-plains on the Mare Nubium. The other members of the group are Parry, Bonpland, and Guericke. The unlucky Apollo 13 astronauts were scheduled to land in this area, subsequently assigned to Apollo 14.

GASSENDI. A magnificent walled plain on the northern border of the Mare Humorum. It is 55 miles in diameter, and the floor contains a central mountain and numerous clefts. Reddish patches have been seen in and near Gassendi and are described in the text.

HIPPALUS. Another bay on the Mare Humorum, not unlike Doppelmayer. Near it are numerous prominent clefts, well seen in a small telescope, and there are also clefts on the floor. Near Hippalus is a small crater, Agatharchides A, in which I discovered two radial bands. These bands are useful test objects. I have seen them clearly with an aperture of 6 inches, but keener eyed observers should detect them with smaller instruments.

GRIMALDI. Identifiable at all times because of its floor, which is the darkest spot on the Moon. It lies close to the west limb. Patches on the floor show interesting variations in hue and should be watched. Grimaldi has low walls, and is

120 miles in diameter. Nearby is a smaller formation, Riccioli, 80 miles in diameter; it too has a very dark patch inside it.

LETRONNE. A bay of 70 miles in diameter lying on the shore of the Oceanus Procellarum not far from Gassendi. There is the wreck of a central elevation.

MAGINUS. A vast walled plain near Clavius and Tycho. It is very prominent when near the terminator, as in the photograph; but it becomes very obscure near full Moon.

MERCATOR. This and Campanus form a conspicuous pair of craters east of the Mare Humorum. Each is about 28 miles in diameter, and the only obvious difference between them is that Mercator has a darker floor.

MERSENIUS. A convex-floored 45-mile crater near Gassendi, associated with an interesting system of clefts.

MORETUS. Not well-known on the photograph, but it is a splendid crater 75 miles in diameter and 15,000 feet deep. The central mountain is the highest of its types on the Moon.

PITATUS. Described by Wilkins as being like a "lagoon". It lies on the south border of the Mare Nubium and has a dark floor and a low mountain near its centre. It is 150 miles in diameter. West of it is a smaller formation, Hesiodus, and from Hesiodus a prominent cleft runs towards Mercator and Campanus.

PTOLEMAEUS. More than 90 miles across; one of the most interesting formations on the Moon. It lies near the centre of the disk. Its floor is moderately dark. It is the northern member of a chain of three craters, the other two being Alphonsus and Arzachel. South of this chain lies another, made up of the three formations Purbach, Regiomontanus, and Walter.

SCHICKARD. A formation 134 miles in diameter. It can be identified on the photograph, near the southwest limb, because parts of its floor are darkish. Obscurations have been reported inside it, and it is well worth watching.

SIRSALIS. This and its "Siamese twin", A, lie near the dark-floored Cruger, not far from Grimaldi. Unfortunately they are not identifiable on the photograph. Sirsalis is associated with one of the most prominent clefts on the Moon.

STRAIGHT WALL. The celebrated fault in the Mare Nubium, near Birt. It is shown in the photograph as a white line, but casts considerable shadow before full Moon, when the illumination is from the reverse direction, so that it then appears as a dark line. Near it are numerous craterlets, some of them visible with very modest apertures. The Wall lies inside a large and obscure ring.

THEBIT. A 37-mile crater near the Straight Wall. It is interrupted by a small crater, which is in turn interrupted by a third. The group makes a useful test object for small apertures.

TYCHO. The great ray-crater, described in the text.

VITELLO. A 30-mile crater on the border of the Mare Humorum, with an inner but not quite concentric ring.

WARGENTIN. Most unfortunately, this is not identifiable on the photograph. It lies near Schickard, and is a 55-mile plateau, much the largest formation of its type on the Moon. Little detail can be seen in small telescopes; it is nevertheless worth observing. Near Wargentin is an interesting group of craters of which Phocylides is the largest member.

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