This image of the moon shows Mare Serenitatis (the Sea of Serenity) as the relatively smooth area near the center. Billions of years ago this was a lava plain. The mountains at the lower left edge of the Sea of Serenity are Montes Caucasus (named for the terrestial Caucasus Mountains). Palus Putredinis is the mountainous region at the lower right edge of the Sea of Serenity. Palus Putredinis is latin for the "Marsh of Decay." The Sea of Serenity is bounded on the right by a mountain range known as Montes Haemus. The large crater at the bottom edge of the image is Aristillus (named after an ancient Greek astronomer). You can see a central peak in Aristillus crater. Aristillus crater is surrounded by Mare Imbrium. The large crater at the left edge of the image is Aristoteles (named after the ancient Greek astronomer and philosopher Aristotle).
The smooth area to the right of the Sea of Serenity is Mare Vaporum. In the right most area of Mare Vaporum the great rift known as Rima Hyginus can be seen as a near vertical line crossing a small crater, then changing directions and extending to the lower left of the crater. Above this feature is another near vertical line that is Rima Ariadaeus, which extends to the edge of Mare Tranquillitatis (the Sea of Tranquility). To the right of Rima Hyginus is Triesnecker crater, which has an extensive system of rilles associated with it.
Move your cursor over these features, and a pop-up window will appear that identifies the feature.
On July 30, 1971, the Apollo 15 landing occurred at a point at the lower center of the image, just below the Palus Putredinis region. On September 14, 1959, the Soviet Luna 2 spacecraft crashed into the moon in Mare Imbrium at a point near the lower edge of the image, to the right of Aristillus crater, just below the smaller crater to its right, becoming the first probe to reach the surface of the moon.
Since mankind has walked on the moon, and it has been extensively photographed by satellites and lunar probes, it does not seem to have the same appeal to amateur astronomers as it once did. Nevertheless, it is always a great sight even in small telescopes. This tri-color CCD image of the moon was taken with an 8-inch Takahashi Mewlon 210 telescope.
November 28, 1999
Image by Sid Leach
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Description of equipment used to acquire images.
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