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Hipparchus (with Horrocks on its floor)

Lat: 5.1°S, Long: 5.2°E, Diam: 138 km, Depth: 1.1 km, Rükl: 44, pre-Nectarian

external image normal_Mosaico-2.JPG
Eric Roel
In this telescopic view, Hipparchus is the large crater at left, with the pronounced crater Horrocks on its floor.
Note also the curved "row of four" just above Hipparchus (craters Halley, Hind, Hipparchus C, Hipparchus L).


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images
Lunar Orbiter 5 captured a curious bunch of dome-like hillocks on the floor of Hipparchus, as seen in Frames 098, 099, 100, and 101.
Lunar Orbiter 3 captured interesting close-ups of Hipparchus' floor, as seen in Frames 108, 109, 110 (the curious dome-like hillocks), and 111 ('Hipparchus N).
- DannyCaes Apr 18, 2008

Apollo 16's
Fairchild Mapping/Metric photographs of Hipparchus C (the bowl shaped high-albedo crater of which the shadowed inner slopes could show us twice-reflected light)(see also Additional Information below). Reseach Danny Caes
Revolution 17
Vertical AS16-M-165 to 169
Revolution 18
Vertical AS16-M-444 to 447
Revolution 25
Oblique W. AS16-M-568 to 573
Revolution 27
Oblique N. AS16-M-835 to 839
Revolution 28
Vertical AS16-M-979 to 983
Revolution 29
Vertical AS16-M-1269 to 1273
Revolution 37
Oblique N. AS16-M-1399 to 1403
Revolution 38
Vertical AS16-M-1663 to 1666
Revolution 39
Vertical AS16-M-1958 to 1962
Revolution 47
Vertical AS16-M-2184 to 2187
Revolution 60
Vertical AS16-M-2800 to 2804
Revolution 63
Vertical AS16-M-2956 to 2960
Vertical photographs could be investigated at the Apollo Image Archive of the Arizona State University.

Apollo 16's
Itek Panoramic photographs of
Hipparchus C. Research Danny Caes
Revolution 18 Forward Facing Camera, AS16-P-4580/ 4582
Revolution 18 Aft Facing Camera, AS16-P-4585/ 4587
Revolution 38 Forward Facing Camera, AS16-P-4628 (only the sunlit western inner slope)
Revolution 38 Aft Facing Camera, AS16-P-4631/ 4633
Revolution 63 Forward Facing Camera, AS16-P-5348/ 5350
Revolution 63 Aft Facing Camera, AS16-P-5353/ 5355
-All of the
Iteks photographs could be investigated at the Apollo Image Atlas of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.


(LAC zone 77B3) LAC map Geologic map LM map AIC map LTO map


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) HIPPARCHUS.--Except under a low sun, this immense walled-plain is by no means so striking an object as a glance at its representation on a chart of the moon would lead one to expect; for the border, in nearly every part of it, bears unmistakable evidence of wreck and ruin, its continuity being interrupted by depressions, transverse valleys, and gaps, and it nowhere attains a great altitude. This imperfect enclosure extends 97 miles from N. to S., and about 88 miles from W. to E., and in shape approximates to that of a rhombus with curved sides. One of the most prominent bright craters on its border is Hipparchus G, on the E. Another, of about the same size, is Hipparchus E, on the N. of Horrocks. On the W. there is a moderately bright crater, Hipparchus F; and S. of this, on the same side, two others, K and I. The interior is crossed by many ridges, and near the centre includes the relics of a low ring, traversed by a narrow rill-like valley. Schmidt shows a cleft running from F across the floor to the S. border.

[A valuable monograph of Hipparchus, by Mr. E.B. Birt, was published in 1870.]

Description: Wikipedia


Additional Information

Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
  • Pike, 1976: 1.1 km
  • Westfall, 2000: 1.1 km
  • Cherrington, 1969: 2.28 km
  • Satellite craters Hipparchus C and L are on the ALPO list of bright ray craters
  • Satellite crater Hipparchus K is on the ALPO list of banded craters
  • Hipparchus C & W are thermal anomaly craters, implying youthful ages - Moore et al, 1980
  • A curious clair-obscur effect at the south-western part of Hipparchus's rim (three sunlit spots, appearing as the "3 stars of Orion") is always observable when the morning-terminator runs at 5 to 6 degrees east. The diameter of this curious "lunar asterism" is about the same as crater Agrippa. - DannyCaes Nov 18, 2007
  • Hipparchus C is the brightest and most distinct example of the "eyes"-effect during Full Moon. This kind of craters (such as Hipparchus C, Hipparchus G, Pickering, etc.) look like "staring eyes" when they are observed through common telescopes. A most curious effect! Observed by Danny Caes.
  • Hipparchus C is perhaps the only crater which could be a good candidate to observe the weak illumination on its shadowed inner slopes. This remarkable effect is noticeable on several of Apollo 16's orbital Fairchild Mapping/Metric photographs. Research: Danny Caes.
  • Hipparchus contains a number of small hills and ridges, none of which exceed 1km in height Sekiguchi, 1972- fatastronomer


  • Hipparchus (ca. 190 BC – ca. 120 BC) was a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician of the Hellenistic period. He is known to have been a working astronomer at least from 147 BC to 127 BC. Hipparchus is considered the greatest astronomical observer and, by some, the greatest overall astronomer of antiquity.
  • In the days of M.F.Van Langren (Langrenus) the northern crater which is officially known as Scoresby was called Hypparchi (see page 196 in E.A.Whitaker's Mapping and Naming the Moon).
  • Bright Eye (Danny Caes's nickname for Hipparchus C, which is the brightest example of the many "staring eyes" on the Full Moon's disc).
  • For some unexplainable reason, this name (HIPPARCHUS) is still printed as "HIPPARCUS" (without "H") on LAC 77 (page 155) in the REVISED AND UPDATED EDITION of the Clementine Atlas of the Moon (2012, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS). - DannyCaes Jan 6, 2013
  • Mentioned as HIPPARCHOS in Hergé's Tintin adventure Explorers on the Moon. - DannyCaes Jan 31, 2015

LPOD Articles

A Hole in the Middle. On Approach for Landing Drawing Hooke & Hipparchus Double Crossed

Lunar 100

L28: First drawing of a single crater.


APOLLO OVER THE MOON; A VIEW FROM ORBIT, Chapter 5: Craters (Part 6), Figure 183.