Lunar Imagery in 2014

By Damian Peach.

This gallery displays Lunar Imagery obtained during 2014 (dates and times are in the file names.) Some of the text used below is from Wikipedia articles on the respective features.

 

Total Lunar Eclipse  October 8th, 2014


Total Lunar Eclipse  April 15th, 2014. Mars and Spica also in view.


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Valles Alpes 


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Lunar crater Tycho


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Sinus Iridum


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Lunar crater Schiller 


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Lunar crater Scheiner


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Rupes Recta 


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Lunar crater Pythagoras 


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Lunar crater Plato 


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Lunar crater Pitatus 


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Lunar crater Moretus 


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Lunar crater Hainzel 


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Rima Hadley 


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Lunar crater Copernicus 


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Lunar crater Clavius 


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Lunar crater Blancanus 


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Lunar crater Arzachel


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The Aristarchus Plateau 


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Lunar crater Archimedes


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Philolaus 

This impact crater is located in the northern part of the Moon's near side. It overlays the older and heavily worn 'Philolaus C' to the south. This crater retains a well-defined form that has not changed significantly since it was originally created. The outer rim edge is roughly circular, but with a somewhat irregular edge that displays signs of slumping. The most notable slum is a triangular area along the eastern rim. The inner wall of the crater has a complex system of terraces with a sharp-edged rim in locations where slumping has occurred. On the exterior of the rim is an outer rampart that extends outward nearly half a crater diameter in all directions.

The interior floor is irregular with rough areas about the center and to the northeast. There is no single central peak, but rather a pair of peaks offset to the south and the east of the middle. There is also a smaller ridge pair offset to the northwest. The flattest part of the interior floor is in the northeast of the crater interior. The floor is not significantly marked by impacts.


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Petermann 

This little known crater is located near the northern limb of the Moon, on the eastern hemisphere. It is located just to the north of the Cusanus crater, and the two are separated by a distance of about 10 kilometers. Due to its location, this crater appears significantly foreshortened when viewed from the Earth, and its visibility can be affected by libration.

Attached to the western rim of this crater is the large, heavily eroded crater 'Petermann R', which is much larger than Petermann although less prominent in appearance. The outer rim of Petermann crater is eroded, but retains some structure including traces of terraces. The inner wall varies in width around the perimeter, being wider to the south and southeast near Cusanus. The interior floor has been resurfaced, leaving a level plain that is marked only by a number of tiny craterlets and only a few low ridges near the sides.


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Kepler 

This young lunar impact crater that lies between the Oceanus Procellarum to the west and Mare Insularum in the east. Kepler is most notable for the prominent ray system that covers the surrounding maria. The rays extend for well over 300 kilometers, overlapping the rays from other craters. Kepler has a small rampart of ejecta surrounding the exterior of its high rim. The outer wall is not quite circular, and possesses a slightly polygonal form. The interior walls of Kepler are slumped and slightly terraced, descending to an uneven floor and a minor central rise.

One of the rays from Tycho crater, when extended across the Oceanus Procellarum, intersects this crater. This was a factor in the choice of the crater's name when Giovanni Riccioli was creating his system of lunar nomenclature, as Kepler used the observations of Tycho Brahe while devising his three laws of planetary motion. On Riccioli's maps, this crater was named Keplerus, and the surrounding skirt of higher albedo terrain was named Insulara Ventorum


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Gassendi

A large lunar crater feature located at the northern edge of Mare Humorum. The formation has been inundated by lava during the formation of the mare, so only the rim and the multiple central peaks remain above the surface. The outer rim is worn and eroded, although it retains a generally circular form. A smaller crater 'Gassendi A' is intruding into the northern rim, and joins a rough uplift at the northwest part of the floor. The crater pair bears a curious resemblance to a diamond ring.

In the southern part of the crater floor is a semi-circular ridge-like formation that is concentric with the outer rim. It is in the southern part where the rim dips down to its lowest portion, and a gap appears at the most southern point. The rim varies in height from as little as 200 meters to as high as 2.5 kilometers above the surface. The floor has numerous hummocks and rough spots. There is also a system of rilles that criss-cross the floor, named the Rimae Gassendi.


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Humboldt

Unfortunately most of the data from the session was lost due to a "senior moment" on my part. None the less, this crater is rarely well observable from Earth being located within the zone of libration on the eastern limb. This means we only ever get rare oblique views of it such as presented here. It is 207km in diameter and displays a fascinating patchwork of geological features. Were it further onto the lunar disk it would surely be one of the finest craters visible to Earth based observers.


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Sinus Iridum (Latin for "Bay of Rainbows") is a plain of basaltic lava that forms a northwestern extension to the Mare Imbrium on Earth's moon. It is surrounded from the northeast to the southwest by the Montes Jura range. The protruding part of the range at the southwest end is named Promontorium Heraclides, while that at the northeast end is called Promontorium Laplace. This bay and the surrounding mountains is considered one of the most beautiful features on the Moon, and is a favorite among lunar observers.

Sinus Iridum is formed from the remains of a large impact crater, which was subsequently flooded with basaltic lava, inundating the "sea" wall. It does not, itself, contain any notable impact craters, but does include the satellite crater Heraclides E in the south, Laplace A along the eastern edge, and Bianchini G in the north. The surface is level, but is marked by a number of wrinkle ridges.

The selenographic coordinates of this bay are 44.1 N, 31.5 W, and the diameter is 236 km. The feature was given the Latin name for the Bay of Rainbows by Giovanni Riccioli.

It was the planned landing site of Chang'e 3, China's 2013 lunar exploration mission, which instead landed nearby in Mare Imbrium.


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Plato iis the lava-filled remains of a lunar impact crater on the Moon. It is located on the northeastern shore of the Mare Imbrium, at the western extremity of the Montes Alpes mountain range. In the mare to the south are several rises collectively named the Montes Teneriffe. To the north lies the wide stretch of the Mare Frigoris. East of the crater, among the Montes Alpes, are several rilles collectively named the Rimae Plato.

The age of Plato is about 3.84 billion years, only slightly younger than the Mare Imbrium to the south. The rim is irregular with 2-km-tall jagged peaks that project prominent shadows across the crater floor when the Sun is at a low angle. Sections of the inner wall display signs of past slumping, most notably a large triangular slide along the western side. The rim of Plato is circular, but from the Earth it appears oval due to foreshortening. The flat floor of Plato has a relatively low albedo, making it appear dark in comparison to the surrounding rugged terrain. The floor is free of significant impact craters and lacks a central peak. However there are a few small craterlets scattered across the floor.

Plato has developed a reputation for transient lunar phenomena, including flashes of light, unusual colour patterns, and areas of hazy visibility. These anomalies are likely a result of seeing conditions, combined with the effects of different illumination angles of the Sun.

The 17th-century astronomer Hevelius called this feature the 'Greater Black Lake'.


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Pitatus is an ancient lunar impact crater located at the southern edge of Mare Nubium. Joined to the northwest rim is the crater Hesiodus, and the two are joined by a narrow cleft. To the south lie the attached Wurzelbauer and Gauricus..The complex wall of Pitatus is heavily worn, and has been encroached by lava flows. The rim is lowest to the north, where the lava almost joins the Mare Nubium. Near the middle is a low central peak that is offset to the northwest of center. This peak only rises to a height of 0.5 km.

Pitatus is a floor-fractured crater, meaning it was flooded from the interior by magma intrusion through cracks and openings. (See also Gassendi and Posidonius for similar features.) The flooded crater floor contains low hills in the east and a system of slender clefts named the Rimae Pitatus. The larger and more spectacular of these rilles follow the edges of the inner walls, especially in the northern and eastern halves. The floor also contains the faint traces of deposited ray markings.

Just to the north of Pitatus in the neighboring mare is the half-buried rim of a lesser crater, covered in the past when Mare Nubium was formed.


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Copernicus is a lunar impact crater named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, located in eastern Oceanus Procellarum. It is estimated to be about 800 million years old, and typifies craters that formed during the Copernican period in that it has a prominent ray system. Copernicus is visible using binoculars, and is located slightly northwest of the center of the Moon's Earth-facing hemisphere West of Copernicus is a group of dispersed lunar hills. Due to its relative youth, the crater has remained in a relatively pristine shape since it formed. The circular rim has a discernible hexagonal form, with a terraced inner wall and a 30 km wide, sloping rampart that descends nearly a kilometer to the surrounding mare. There are three distinct terraces visible, and arc-shaped landslides due to slumping of the inner wall as the crater debris subsided. Most likely due to its recent formation, the crater floor has not been flooded by lava. The terrain along the bottom is hilly in the southern half while the north is relatively smooth. The central peaks consist of three isolated mountainous rises climbing as high as 1.2 km above the floor.


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Clavius is one of the largest crater formations on the Moon, and it is the third largest crater on the visible near side. It is located in the rugged southern highlands of the Moon, to the south of the prominent ray crater Tycho. The crater is named for the Jesuit priest Christopher Clavius, a 16th-century German mathematician and astronomer. Due to the location of the crater toward the southern limb, the crater appears oblong due to foreshortening. Because of its great size, Clavius can be detected with the unaided eye. It appears as a prominent notch in the terminator about 12 days after the Moon reaches first quarter. The crater is one of the older formations on the lunar surface and was likely formed during the Nectarian period about 4 billion years ago. Despite its age, however, the crater is relatively well-preserved. It has a relatively low outer wall in comparison to its size, and it is heavily worn and pock-marked by craterlets. The rim does not significantly overlook the surrounding terrain, making this a "walled depression". The inner surface of the rim is hilly, notched, and varies in width, with the steepest portion in the south end. Overall the rim has been observed to have a somewhat polygonal outline.

 


All images copyright Damian Peach. None of the images on this page may be used. amended, or distributed without the consent of the author.