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A New Atlas?
Lat: 9.7°N, Long: 20.1°W, Diam: 93 km, Depth: 3.8 km,
Apollo 12 AS12-52-7739
submitted by Stefan Lammel
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LPOD Photo Gallery
Lunar Orbiter Images
and its preceding and following photographs in Apollo 15's MAGAZINE REV-71 show
near the curved horizon. Because the sun was too high at the moment of photography, there were no shadows in and around the crater.
and the almost identical looking AS12-47-6876 are two of the most frequently reproduced orbital Hasselblads of
(near the curved horizon) and
(in the foreground).
- The so-called "
Picture of the Century
's cluster of central peaks and its northern inner slopes, photographed by
Lunar Orbiter 2
), was included on pages 231-232-233 in the
of february 1969 (
AWESOME VIEWS OF THE FORBIDDING MOONSCAPE
; a nine-page portfolio). And on page 244 of the same issue, there's a remarkable detailed close-up of
's floor, made by Lunar Orbiter 5 (see
- One of Chesley Bonestell's extraordinary paintings shows crater
with four astronauts on its southern rim. This painting was inspired by the so-called "Picture of the Century" (see description above). Bonestell's painting of
is online in one of Fabio Femino's
(the fifth painting on that page).
- Another one of Chesley Bonestell's
-paintings was printed in Willy Ley's book
The Conquest of Space
(1951). This painting shows the floor of
as seen from a high summit on its eastern wall. In the Dutch translation of this book (
De Sprong in het Heelal
, 1951) this painting was printed as Plate XXIVa, between pages 38 and 39.
- Lunar Orbiter 5's
shows a close-up of the dark-halo craterlet
Research photographs and paintings: Danny Caes
Image submitted by ketil
LRO LOLA Topo Map
USGS Geologic Map of Crater Copernicus's interior floor and central peak system (I-840)
The most well-known and most observed and photographed surface formation on the moon's near side. No wonder most lunar observers call it "
The Monarch of the Moon
Feb 16, 2014
COPERNICUS.--This is without question the grandest object, not only on the second Quadrant, but on the whole visible superficies of the moon. It undoubtedly owes its supremacy partly to its comparative isolation on the surface of a vast plain, where there are no neighbouring formations to vie with it in size and magnificence, but partly also to its favourable position, which is such, that, though not central, is sufficiently removed from the limb to allow all its manifold details to be critically examined without much foreshortening. There are some other formations,
, for example, which, if they were equally well situated, would probably be fully as striking; but, as we see it Copernicus is
the monarch of the lunar ring-mountains. Schmidt remarks that this incomparable object combines nearly all the characteristics of the other ring-plains, and that careful study directed to its unequalled beauties and magnificent form is of much more value than that devoted to a hundred other objects of the same class. It is fully 56 miles in diameter, and, though generally described as nearly circular, exhibits very distinctly under high powers a polygonal outline, approximating very closely to an equilateral hexagon. There are, however, two sections of the crest of the border on the N.W. which are inflected slightly towards the centre, a peculiarity already noticed in the case of
. The walls, tolerably uniform in height, are surmounted by a great number of peaks, one of which on the E., according to Neison, stands 11,000 feet above the floor, and a second on the opposite side is nearly as high. Both the inner and outer slopes of this gigantic rampart are very broad, each being fully 10 miles in width. The outer slope, especially on the W., is a fine object at sunrise, when its rugged surface, traversed by deep gullies, is seen to the best advantage. The terraces and other features on the bright inner declivities on this side may be well observed when the sun's altitude is about 6 deg. Schmidt, whose measures differ from those of Neison, estimates the height of the wall on the W. to be 12,000 feet, and states that the interior slopes vary from 60 deg. to 50 deg. above, to from 10 deg. to 2 deg. at the base. The first inclination of 50 deg., and in some cases of 60 deg., is confined to the loftiest steep crests and to the flanks of the terraces. There are apparently five bright little mountains on the floor, the most westerly being rather the largest, and a great number of minute hillocks on the S.W. quarter. S.E. of the centre is a little crater, and on the same side of the interior a curious hook-shaped ridge, projecting from the foot of the wall, and extending nearly halfway across the floor. The region surrounding Copernicus is one of the most remarkable on the moon, being everywhere traversed by low ridges, enclosing irregular areas, which are covered with innumerable craterlets, hillocks, and other minute features, and by a labyrinth of bright streaks, extending for hundreds of miles on every side, and varying considerably both in width and brilliancy.
The notable crater-row on the E., often utilised by observers for testing the steadiness of the air and the definition of their telescopes, should be examined when it is on the morning terminator, at which time Webb's homely comparison, "a mole-run with holes in it," will be appreciated, and its evident connection with the W. side of
clearly made out. There is another much more delicate row running closely parallel to this object; it lies a little E. of it, and extends farther in a northerly direction.
Depth data from
Kurt Fisher database
Pike, 1976: 3.8 km
Westfall, 2000: 3.8 km
Viscardy, 1985: 3.76 km
Cherrington, 1969: 3.84 km
Measurements of crater topography using Kaguya laser altimeter terrain profile graphs.
Jul 16, 2011
: Measurements on 4 axes separated by 45 degrees.
Zero reference level = Moon average radius.
Average floor level (average of lowest levels on 4 axes) = -3.53km
Average rim height (average of 8 rim data points) = +0.12km
Average crater depth (average rim height to average floor level) = 3.65km
Deepest point on crater floor (from zero reference level) = 3.56km
Max. crater depth (highest point on rim to deepest point on crater floor) = 4.0km
Central Peak Height
(above average floor level) = 0.37km
Main peak = 1.2 km (1174 m approx., -
) from shadows in
LO Frame 4121 H2
West rim slope 52° (
Central peak composition
: GNTA1, GNTA2 & AT (
Tompkins & Pieters, 1999
Exterior impact melt deposits most extensive to NW, max of ~35 km beyond rim. Most extensive ejecta, rays and secondary craters to the NW, with max wall slumping on S side of crater, and topographically lowest rim crest to N & S (
Hawke and Head, 1977
Copernicus and its satellite crater "H" are included in
ALPO list of bright ray craters
is a dark halo crater of
age. See: Lunar Orbiter 5's
During the mission of Apollo 17 in december 1972, crater
and its system of central peaks was photographed in earthlight. This happened when CSM
was directly above Copernicus, when the lunar sunrise-terminator was still too eastward. These earthlight photographs are included in Apollo 17's Magazine 158-WW (35mm NIKON B&W photographs), see:
Sheet 8 of A17's Index Maps
. Some of those photographs were reproduced in the
Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report
Dec 22, 2007
Copernicus: TSI = 35, CPI = 25, FI = 25; MI =75
Smith and Sanchez, 1973
Copernicus H: TSI = 5, CPI = 5, FI = 5; MI =15
Smith and Sanchez, 1973
Observer's note: when the sunrise terminator is located at
, exactly 24 hours later it will be at
and the arc-shaped
, thus creating the "
Jewelled Handle effect
" described by Sir Patrick Moore in his moonbooks. See also LPOD
(February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was a European astronomer who formulated the first explicitly heliocentric model of the solar system. His epochal book,
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium
(On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), is often conceived as the starting point of modern astronomy, as well as a central and defining epiphany in all the history of science.
) by Gassendi in late 1630s [Whitaker:
Mapping and Naming the Moon
, p 33]. Perhaps the crater
reminded Gassendi of the walled Grande Chartreuse monastery in France.
Jul 19, 2007
It is a most interesting pastime to explore Johann Hewelcke's moonmap from 1647 (
, which shows his nomenclature). On this map, the crater which is nowadays officially known as
(a well-known volcano), while the large nimbus of high-albedo ejectarays around it was called
. In fact, according to J.Hewelcke we are looking at a "lunar version" of that part of the terrestrial Mediterranean sea (the southwestern "extension" of Italy with Cicilia disconnected to it).
Mar 11, 2016
Copernicus in Color
Window with a View
A Great View of Copernicus
Copernicus in Color
Compelling Copernican Color
Last Century's photo
A New Crater?
(the bright ray-craterlet immediately west of
: Archetypal large complex crater
Projectile remnants in central peaks of lunar impact craters
Nature Geoscience | Letter
, doi:10.1038/ngeo1828. Published online 26 May, 2013.
Lucey, Paul G.; Hawke, B. R.; Horton, Keith (1991) The distribution of olivine in the crater Copernicus
Geophysical Research Letters 18, Nov. p. 2133-2136.
Pieters, C. M.; Adams, J. B.; Smith, M. O.; Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Zisk, S. H. (1985) The nature of crater rays - The Copernicus example
Journal of Geophysical Research 90, p. 12,393-12,413.
Pieters, C. M.; Wilhelms, D. E. (1985) Origin of olivine at Copernicus
Journal of Geophysical Research, Supplement 90, p. C415-C420.
Pinet, P. C.; Chevrel, S. D.; Martin, P. (1993) Copernicus - A regional probe of the lunar interior
Science 260, no. 5109, p. 797-801.
Wood, C.A. Feb. 2001. Copernicus: a spellbinding crater. S&T Feb 2001 v101 p133
Drawing and text of central peaks by Alika Herring.
March 1967, p. 187.
APOLLO OVER THE MOON; A VIEW FROM ORBIT, Chapter 5: Craters (
), Figure 164.
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