Curious crater clusters
Curious craterlet clusters and odd small depressions, noteworthy because of their recognizable shapes on orbital photographs (lunar surface pareidolia)
Research Danny Caes
All nicknames by Danny Caes
The locations of most of the described formations are detectable in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Charles Wood/ Maurice Collins).
- Alfred Worden's Chain: at about one hundred kilometres west-northwest of Gruithuisen is a chain of 30 teardrop-shaped craterlets, once photographed by Command Module Pilot (CMP) Alfred Worden of Apollo 15's CSM Endeavour. One of Alfred Worden's orbital color Hasselblad-photographs appeared on page 252 of the article To the Mountains of the Moon by Kenneth F. Weaver, National Geographic Magazine, February 1972. There's a total of 6 Hasselblads of that chain. They are: AS15-93-12724 to 12729 (Magazine P/93). One of them (AS15-93-12725) shows both the chain (centre of photo) and the concentric crater Gruithuisen K in the upper right corner. In the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins), this chain's location is 1/2-C on Chart 21 (page 55). Magnifying glass required!
- Aratus CA; the odd depression in Mare Serenitatis, once called Lorca. In the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins), Aratus CA's location is 4/5-E on Chart 11 (page 35). Magnifying glass required!
- The Artemis-Felix-Verne cluster in Mare Imbrium. In the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins) the Artemis-Felix-Verne cluster's location is detectable just below the "E" of MARE IMBRIUM, at Chart 21 (page 55).
- The Bibendum (aka Michelin Man) east of Lansberg. This is a cluster of craterlets which shows the typical shape of a human figure. It was captured on Lunar Orbiter 1's frame 151-med (near the lower left corner of the photograph), and also on 149-med (near the lower right corner). This Bibendum is also noticeable on Chart 22 (page 57) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins) at location 5-G (magnifying glass required!).
- Brayley G, the curious Swimming Pool at 24° North/ 36°30' West (north of Brayley itself), a most unusual depression, described in NASA SP-362 APOLLO OVER THE MOON; A VIEW FROM ORBIT, Chapter 7: Unusual Features (part 1), Figure 228 (AS17-P-3125). Brayley G was also photographed on Hasselblad film, during the mission of Apollo 15: AS15-95-12934. See also Apollo 15's southward looking ITEK-camera frames AS15-P-10296 and 10301. Brayley G is also detectable on Chart 21 (page 55) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins), at location 5-D (magnifying glass required!).
- The Chopper (see at the La Hire C cluster).
- The Dogbone. Adjacent to Rima Delisle, near Rupes Boris, is a curious dogbone-shaped depression. This Dogbone was photographed during the mission of Apollo 15, on black-and-white Hasselblad film. AS15-92-12458 shows both Rima Delisle (left) and the Dogbone near centre. Another Hasselblad of it is AS15-81-10981 (Dogbone near centre, Rima Delisle toward the top). The Dogbone is also detectable on Chart 21 (page 55) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins), at location 3-E (magnifying glass required!).
- The Dragonfly north-northwest of Schroter D, see: http://bit.ly/2hD6qo4
- Encke's Triplet (Encke M); a short chain of three connected craterlets, slightly east of Encke itself. This is a very good test object for all sorts of common amateur telescopes. If you are able to count all three of the craterlets, then you might call yourself a serious lunar observer! Encke's Triplet was captured on Lunar Orbiter 4's frame 138-h1, and is also detectable on Chart 22 (page 57) in the Clementine Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins), at location 3-C.
- Ewing's Mob: at 11° south/ 36°15' west (near Dorsa Ewing, north of Rima Herigonius) is a cluster of bowl-shaped craterlets which is an interesting target for telescopic observers and photographers of minute features in the southern part of Oceanus Procellarum (see also: Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report, P.29-91, P.29-80. Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report, P. 31-4).
- Garcia-Gomez's Mob (a tiny cluster of craterlets immediately north of the bowl-shaped crater Alpetragius B, aka Wilkins's Garcia-Gomez).
- Gruithuisen's Mob (the cluster of bowl-shaped craterlets north-northwest of Gruithuisen)(south-southwest of Gruithuisen Zeta). See LPOD Geo Textbook (lower right corner of the LPOD's photograph).
- The Guitar (or Bottle): slightly northeast of Fedorov (between Fedorov and Mons Delisle) is a curious guitar- or bottle-shaped depression. This "Guitar"/"Bottle" was photographed during the mission of Apollo 15, on black-and-white Hasselblad film: AS15-92-12470 and AS15-81-10983.
- Herigonius' Snake: the peculiar snake-shaped northeastern "extension" of Rimae Herigonius, at 11°45' South/ 35°45' West (at Dorsa Ewing). See upper part of Lunar Orbiter 4 frame 137-h2. Herigonius' Snake is also detectable on Chart 23 (page 59) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins), at location 1-C (very near the chart's upper margin! Magnifying glass required!!!). See also:http://bit.ly/2zkYxhg
- Ina; the D-shaped depression in Lacus Felicitatis.
- The La Hire C cluster (aka the Chopper). The location of this cluster (which has a typical Chopper shape!) is west of Mons La Hire and southwest of La Hire Alpha (aka Wilkins's Mount Whipple). http://bit.ly/2zag6Am
Orbital HasselbladAS15-92-12452 is perhaps the best one of Apollo 15's close ups of the La Hire C cluster. AS15-96-13028 shows the La Hire C cluster early in the local morning (shadows in the craterlets).
Apollo 17's AS17-155-23729 and 23730 show the La Hire C cluster from a distance.
Apollo 17's panoramic ITEK-camera frame AS17-P-3101 shows La Hire C near the right margin (scroll all the way to the right).
Lunar Orbiter 4's frame 133-h3 shows the typical Chopper shape of the La Hire C cluster (you can't miss it, it's driving to the right, to the east). One might wonder if this cluster's Chopper shape is also noticeable through telescopes. La Hire C is also detectable on Chart 21 (page 55) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins) at location 4-F/G (magnifying glass required!), and also in the lower right photograph on page 54 (La Hire Lava Flows; near the lower left corner of that photograph).
- The Limber (or Gun Carriage) east-northeast of Schroter, at (approximately) 3°20' North/ 4°45' West. This Limber or Gun Carriage was captured on Lunar Orbiter 1 frames 113-med and 114-med, in the upper parts of both frames. It is also noticeable on Chart 17 (page 47) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins) at location 3/4-F/G (magnifying glass required!).
- Markov's Isosceles Triangle: to the east-southeast of Markov, at 52° North/ 54° West, is a curious system of three bowl-shaped craterlets, arranged like an isosceles triangle. The diameter of the triangle is about 10 kilometers, the diameter of one craterlet about 2 kilometer. Markov's Isosceles Triangle was captured near the right margin of Lunar Orbiter 4's frame 175-h3, and also at the lower right part of frame 176-h1.
- Nielsen's 8 (or Nielsen's Peanut): a curious 8-shaped (or Peanut-shaped) craterlet, located west-northwest of Nielsen (a system of two connected craterlets with high rim). This 8-shaped feature is described and depicted in NASA SP-362 APOLLO OVER THE MOON; A VIEW FROM ORBIT, Chapter 4: The Maria (Part 3), Figure 89. Note: the photo-number which is mentioned below the depicted photograph (in AOTM) should be 10344, and not "0344"! Nielsen's 8 (or Nielsen's Peanut) is also noticeable near the upper right corner of Lunar Orbiter 4's Frame 163-H1.
- The Question Mark at (roughly) 5° North/ 28° East, in Mare Tranquillitatis. This is a typical Full Moon feature, and is (or seems to be) composed of tiny high-albedo craterlets arranged as a chain in the shape of a Question Mark (or hook). It is detectable on LAC 60 (page 120) in B.Bussey's and P.Spudis's Clementine Atlas of the Moon, at the above mentioned coordinates. See also Apollo 10's HasselbladAS10-31-4600.
- The Suess Doodad: a curious elongated craterlet at 8°40' North/ 48°30' West (near the northern part of Rima Suess) which is an interesting target for telescopic lunar observers and webcammers (see LPOD by Pavel Presnyakov). This elongated craterlet is also detectable on Chart 27 (page 67) in the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon (Wood/ Collins) at location 6-G. See also the Hi-Res scan of Lunar Orbiter 4's frame 150-h2 (lower part of photograph).
- The Swimming Pool (see at Brayley G).
- The Turitella. North-northwest of Fra Mauro, and slightly west-northwest of Apollo 14's landingsite, is a formation which is nicknamed "The Turitella" by Charles Wood. It would be interesting to know if this Turitella-shaped formation was already noticed by ancient lunar observers. See also Lunar Orbiter 3 frame LO3-132-med which shows the Turitella near the lower left corner (of the frame).