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Lat: 72.1°N, Long: 32.4°W, Diam: 70 km, Depth: 4.0 km, Rükl 3, Copernican

external image normal_Philolaus_LO-IV-164H_LTVT.JPG


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(LAC zone 3A4) USGS Digital Atlas PDF


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) PHILOLAUS.--A ring-plain 46 miles in diameter, on the N.W. of Fontenelle. Its bright walls rise on the E. to a height of nearly 12,000 feet above the floor (on which there is a conspicuous central mountain), and exhibit many prominent terraces. Philolaus is partially encircled, at no great distance, by a curved ridge, on which will be found a number of small craters.

Description: Wikipedia


The crevasses on the floor of Philolaus

Philolaus is a crater which shows crevasses on its quite chaotic floor. In 2018, scientists discovered possible skylights in these crevasses.
See Bibliography below (the article from P. Lee).

Additional Information

  • Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
    • Westfall, 2000: 3.68 km
    • Viscardy, 1985: 3.4 km
    • Cherrington, 1969: 3.29 km
  • From the shadows in LO-IV-152H, the east wall of Philolaus is up to 3600 m above the floor. The southern central peak is at least 970 m tall. - JimMosher
  • Measures on LRO QuickMap give max depth about 4 km
  • Central peak composition: A & GNTA1 (Tompkins & Pieters, 1999)
  • Central peak height
  • Measures on LRO QuickMap give max peak height for ring of peaks at 1.0 k
    • Sekiguchi, 1972 lists several internal peaks
      • 1.2 km "Large mountain" slightly south and west of center
      • 0.7 km and 0.5 km "Peaks standing on the north side of the [Large mountain]"
      • 1.3 km measured from an easterly-falling shadow, "The highest peak standing on the easterly eccentric position."
      • 0.2 km "A long dyke" to the north and east
      • 0.4 km "A low hill at the bottom of the east wall" - fatastronomer
  • Exterior impact melt deposits most extensive to NNW, max of ~35 km beyond rim. Most extensive ejecta, rays and secondary craters to the NE, with max wall slumping on W side of crater, and topographically lowest rim crest to NNW (Hawke and Head, 1977).
  • Included in ALPO list of bright ray craters
  • A row of low hills 120km east and south of Philolaus was measured via the shadow method and LTVT. A profile was produced with the highest point being slightly less than 250m (Boint, "Profiles Of Features In The J. Herschel Crater, Fontenelle Crater, and La Condamine Crater Area", Selenology Today, Vol. 9. 1-12.).- fatastronomer
  • TSI = 35, CPI = 30, FI = 25; MI =90 Smith and Sanchez, 1973
  • Studying Philolaus on May 20, 1948, Richard M. Baum noted a reddish glow to the northeast, which he watched for fifteen minutes before it faded from sight. Source: Epic Moon, page 309. Perhaps interesting to know: in May 1948, Full Moon happened on the 23th, at 0:37 U.T., source: Fred Espenak's NASA Eclipse website, Phases of the Moon: 1901 to 2000- DannyCaes Jul 26, 2013


- Philolaus of Croton; Greek mathematician, astronomer, philosopher (unkn-fl. 400 B.C.).
- Somewhere between Philolaus and the moon's limb (or: at the moon's limb) is a crater which was called Rhodes by Wilkins and Moore, but the I.A.U. did not accept that name.

LPOD Articles

Postcard from the Edge
Twin Peaks


The crevasses on the floor of Philolaus:
Lee, P. (2018) Possible Lava Tube Skylights Discovered Near The North Pole of the Moon - SETI Institute and Mars Institute on 11 January 2018.
THE MOON by H.P.Wilkins and P.Moore.