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Lat: 63.4°N, Long: 18.9°W, Diam: 38 km, Depth: 1.7 km, Rükl: 3, Lower Imbrian

external image normal_Fontenelle_LO-IV-128H_LTVT.JPG
LO-IV-128H Arranged across the top are three satellite features: Fontenelle H, R, and P (from left to right). - Fontenelle LRO


LPOD Photo Gallery images Lunar Orbiter Images

  • Item N° 25 in C. A. Wood's list of Concentric Craters (1978) should be Fontenelle D, which is visible on Lunar Orbiter 4's photograph LOIV-140-H1, near the frame's upper margin, west-southwest of Fontenelle itself (Fontenelle D is the northern and larger one of the distinct couple Fontenelle B and D).
    • Research: Danny Caes


(LAC zone 12A1) LAC map Geologic map

IAU page: Fontenelle


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) FONTINELLE.--A fine ring-plain, 23 miles in diameter, on the N. margin of the Mare Frigoris, N.N.W. of Plato, with a wall rising on the W., 6,000 feet above a bright interior. I find its border indistinct and nebulous, excepting under very oblique light, though three of the little craters upon it are bright and prominent. One stands on the S., another on the N.E., and a third on the W. Schmidt shows only the first of these, and Neison none of them. Fontinelle has a low central mountain which is easily distinguished. Fontinelle A, an isolated mountain on the S., is more than 3,000 feet high. On the N. there is a curious mountain group, also of considerable altitude, and on the E. an irregular depression surrounded by a dusky area. North of Fontinelle, extending towards Goldschmidt and the limb, Schroter discovered a very wide irregular valley which he named "J.J. Cassini." It is really nothing more than a great plain bounded by ridges. At 9 h. October 15, 1888, when Philolaus was on the morning terminator, I had a fine view of it, and, as regards its general shape, found that it agreed very closely with Schroter's drawing.

Description: Wikipedia


Additional Information

  • Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
    • Westfall, 2000: 1.5 km
    • Viscardy, 1985: 1.75 km
    • Cherrington, 1969: 2.8 km
  • The shadows in LO-IV-128H show the east rim to vary in elevation above the floor from about 1100 to 1500 m. - JimMosher
  • Measures on LRO QuickMap give depth range of about 1.5 to 2.0 km, ave 1.7 km
  • Rilles on its floor suggest that Fontenelle is one of the Moon's floor fractured craters. - tychocrater Sep 29, 2007
  • The outside west rim of Fontenelle A (located about 130 km to the north of Fontenelle) rises between 650m and 780m above the surrounding highlands (Boint, "Profiles Of Features In The J. Herschel Crater, Fontenelle Crater, and La Condamine Crater Area", Selenology Today, Vol. 9. 1-12.).- fatastronomer
  • Height data for the outcropping in Mare Frigoris formerly known as Fontenelle Epsilon are given on that page.
  • Concentric Crater Fontenelle D (number 25 in C.A.Wood's list of Concentric Craters, 1978).
  • It looks like there's some sort of system of very shallow sinuous rilles immediately east of Fontenelle, see:


  • Named for Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, also referred to as Bernard le Bouyer de Fontenelle (February 11, 1657–January 9, 1757), a French author. He wrote extensively on the nature of the universe.
  • According to Whitaker (p. 218), this name was introduced by Schröter with the spelling "de Fontenelle". Elger (as can be seen above) spelled it "Fontinelle". Exactly when the modern spelling was finally agreed upon is unclear, but it was part of the original IAU nomenclature of Blagg and Müller (1935), and has not been changed since.
  • Wilkins and Moore proposed assigning the name Bartlett to the area between Fontenelle and Birmingham which an American amateur astronomer of that name had called attention to, referring to it himself as "Mädler's square." The IAU did not accept the suggestion.
  • The arc-shaped wrinkle ridge running east-southeast of Fontenelle (and touching the southeastern part of its rim) is unofficially called Dorsum Fontenelle by - DannyCaes Sep 10, 2011.
  • Fontenelle hills (an unofficial name from D.Caes for the cluster of hills east of Fontenelle) (note: there are Greek letter designations for most of these hills on chart 2 in the Times Atlas of the Moon). Several hills southwest of Birmingham (at the northern section of Mare Frigoris) also received Greek letter designations, see charts 2 and 3 in the Times Atlas of the Moon, and also SLC-section D1. Are some of those hills, or perhaps all of them, part of the formation which was once called Madler's square?
  • Rimae Fontenelle (an unofficial name from a quite unusual and very dedicated investigator of officially unnamed lunar rilles for the system of rilles on the floor of Floor Fractured Crater Fontenelle) (quite unusual because he want to shake the International Astronomical Union (the IAU) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) awake so they could give those officially unnamed systems of rilles on the floors of many craters on the moon's near and far sides (especially those on the far side) REAL officially recognized names!) (and if they don't want to, then I really know that we are living in a world occupied by lethargy). - DannyCaes Sep 30, 2017

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