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(glossary entry)


One of 18 different categories of lunar features recognized in the current system of IAU nomenclature, this is the generic term for "a circular depression".

Additional Information

  • The term "crater", as used here, refers only the shape, and not to the origin, of these features. At one time lunar craters were assumed to be volcanoes. Although the vast majority are now thought to be the result of impact by foreign bodies, a very few of the features in this category are still believed to be volcanic caldera. - Jim Mosher
  • According to Whitaker (p. 106), the use of the term "crater" (or its German equivalent?) in its modern sense, in connection with the Moon, is probably due to Schröter. Galileo, for example, in his Sidereus Nuncius had referred to both craters and mare by the Latin equivalent of "spots". They were later described by many terms, including "putei" (pits), and compared in shape to "crateres aquatici" (water bowls). - Jim Mosher

LPOD Articles

EPOD Articles

Classroom Impact Crater Shoemaker Impact Structure Arizona Meteor Crater Sunset Crater Meteor Crater Panorama Aorounga Impact Crater Dual Impact Craters Meteor Crater Arizona Chicxulb Impact Crater Impact Crater Pushing the Envelope (Smallest Detectable Lunar Crater)