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Lat: 7.75°N, Long: 6.27°E, Diam: 8.7 km, Depth: 0.78 km, Rükl: 34

external image normal_Hyginus_LO-IV-102H_LTVT.JPG
LO-IV-102H The crater Hyginus is like an elbow in the otherwise mostly straight Rima Hyginus. None of the smaller craters along the length of the rille have official names.


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(IAU Directions) HYGINUS.--A deep depression, rather less than 4 miles across, with a low rim of varying altitude, having a crater on its N. edge. This formation is remarkable for the great cleft which traverses it, discovered by Schroter in 1788. The coarser parts of this object are easily visible in small telescopes, and may be glimpsed under suitable conditions with a 2 inch achromatic. Commencing a little E. of a small crater N. of Agrippa, it crosses, as a very delicate object, a plain abounding in low ridges and shallow valleys, and runs nearly parallel to the western extension of the Ariadaeus rill. As it approaches Hyginus it becomes gradually coarser, and exhibits many expansions and contractions, the former in many cases evidently representing craters. When the phase is favourable, it can be followed across the floor of Hyginus, and I have frequently seen the banks with which it appears to be bounded (at any rate within the formation), standing out as fine bright parallel lines amid the shadow. On reaching the W. wall, it turns somewhat more to the N., becomes still coarser and more irregular in breadth, and ultimately expands into a wide valley on the N.W. It is connected with the Ariadaeus cleft by a branch which leaves the latter at an acute angle on the plain W. of Silberschlag, and joins it about midway between its origin N. of Agrippa and Hyginus. It is also probably joined to the Triesnecker system by one or more branches W. of Hyginus.

Hyginus N

On May 27, 1877, Dr. Hermann Klein of Cologne discovered, with a 5 1/2 inch Plosel dialyte telescope, a dark apparent depression without a rim in the Mare Vaporum, a few miles N.E. of Hyginus, which, from twelve years' acquaintance with the region, he was certain had not been visible during that period. On the announcement of this discovery in the Wochenschrift fur Astronomie in March of the following year, the existence of the object described by Dr. Klein was confirmed, and it was sedulously scrutinised under various solar altitudes. To most observers it appeared as an ill-defined object with a somewhat nebulous border, standing on an irregularly-shaped dusky area, with two or more small dark craters and many low ridges in its vicinity. A little W. of it stands a curious spiral mountain called the Schneckenberg. The question as to whether Hyginus N. (as the dusky spot is called) is a new object or not, cannot be definitely determined, as, in spite of a strong case in favour of it being so, there remains a residuum of doubt and uncertainty that can never be entirely cleared away. After weighing, however, all that can be said "for and against," the hypothesis of change seems to be the most probable.


Hyginus- JohnMoore2

Additional Information

  • IAU page: Hyginus
  • Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
    • Arthur, 1974: 0.78 km
    • Westfall, 2000: 0.78 km
    • Viscardy, 1985: 0.8 km
  • Hyginus S contains "two tiny domes [It is not clear whether this is meant to designate a volcanic dome.]. . . 4km apart from each other." Each is less than 1km in diameter and less than 0.1 km tall. Sekiguchi, 1972. - fatastronomer
  • A dome labelled Hyginus 3 is described by Lena et al at 8.26º E and 10.52 º N. It is 9.3 km in diameter, 70 m high, with an average flank slope of 0.86º, and has a summit crater.- tychocrater Feb 28, 2009
  • A fly-round (Mar 2018) of the caldera. - JohnMoore2


  • Named for Gaius Julius Hyginus (ca. 64 BC – AD 17), a Latin author, a pupil of the famous Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor, and a freedman of Caesar Augustus. Whether a native of Spain or of Alexandria is uncertain.
  • The name Hyginus was introduced by Riccioli, but Whitaker believes it referred to a nearby but different feature -- a dark spot in Mare Vaporum.
  • The present feature became Catalog Number 165 in Mary Blagg's Collated List, where it is noted that both Neison, 1876 and Schmidt used the name, although Schmidt spelled it Higinus.
  • The feature Hyginus N referred to by Elger (above) is a currently unnamed, and rather inconspicuous dark-haloed crater in the plain to the southeast of the former Schneckenberg, slight southeast of the line connecting Hyginus and the modern Hyginus W(and closer to Hyginus W than to Hyginus).
    • The Hyginus N of the nineteenth century was a hot topic throughout the three-year life of Britain's Selenographical Journal, the consensus being that it was a new feature which could not possibly have escaped notice had it been present in former years. A preliminary map of its location can be found in the May 31, 1878 issue; and a set of definitive drawings in the June 19, 1979 number (the clearest illustration being Plate III, where it is the dark crater connected to Hyginus by a dark channel, with the snail-like form of Schneckenberg directly below it).
    • The location of the possible "Neuer Krater" ("new crater") is also depicted in an inset in the lower left of the 1881 map by Richard Andree.
    • There was no Hyginus N in the original IAU nomenclature of Named Lunar Formations (1935), probably because that catalog was based on maps published before its discovery. The modern Hyginus N is a designation added in the System of Lunar Craters, unrelated to the nineteenth century feature of the same name.
    • Called Hyginus Nova on page 349 of the Dutch moonbook Op Ontdekking in het Maanland by A.J.M. Wanders (Het Spectrum, 1949).- DannyCaes Aug 7, 2012

LPOD Articles

Numbering the Marvels
Colorful Interpretation
Another Ina? (shows one of the LRO's exquisite close-up photographs of the eastern part of Hyginus's floor).


  • Klein, Hermann. 1878. Remarkable Changes on the Moon's Surface. Astronomical register, vol. 16, pp. 265-270 (translation of article in German magazine Sirius).
  • Raffaello Lena, Christian Wöhler, KC Pau and Maria Teresa Bregante (2007) A Study about the Manilius Region and a Dome Located at 08.26° E and 10.52° N. Selenology Today Vol. 3, pp 7-24.
  • More about Hyginus N (aka Hyginus Nova): Epic Moon (William P. Sheehan and Thomas A. Dobbins), pages 199-202, 277.

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