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Lat: 14.5°N, Long: 11.3°W, Diam: 58 km, Depth: 3.43 km, Rükl: 21, Eratosthenian

external image normal_eratosthenes_060807_04h07tu.jpg
François Emond


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images
Eratosthenes itself:

  • Wes Higgins
  • Excellent Apollo 12 oblique view
  • Lunar Orbiter 5's Frames 134, 135, and 136 show near vertical close-up views of Eratosthenes and its central peak. Note the curious "twin domes" on Eratosthenes's floor! - DannyCaes Feb 4, 2014
  • The first 10 frames of Apollo 17's Magazine 158/ WW (35 mm Nikon) show a near-vertical view of Eratosthenes as it is seen in Earthlight. - DannyCaes Feb 4, 2014 See also: Additional Information, below.

The pair of bowl-shaped craters Eratosthenes A and B, south of Wallace:

  • This couple was captured near the left margin of Apollo 17's panoramic ITEK-camera frame AS17-P-3046.

The pair of bowl-shaped craters Eratosthenes D and E, north of Eratosthenes itself:

  • This couple was captured near the left margin of AS17-P-3047.
  • Additional research orbital Apollo 17 photography: Danny Caes


(LAC zone 58B2) LAC map Geologic map

IAU page: Eratosthenes


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) ERATOSTHENES.--A noble ring-plain, 38 miles in diameter; a worthy termination of the Apennines. The best view of it is obtained under morning illumination when the interior is about half-filled with shadow. At this phase the many irregular terraces on the inner slope of the W. wall (which rises at one peak 16,000 feet above an interior depressed 8,000 feet below the Mare Imbrium) are seen to the best advantage. The central mountain is made up of two principal peaks, nearly central, from which two bright curved hills extend nearly up to the N.E. wall,--the whole forming a V-shaped arrangement. On the S. there is a narrow break in the wall, and the S.E. section of it seems to overlap and extend some distance beyond the S.W. section. The border on the S.E. is remarkable for the great width of its glacis. Eratosthenes exhibits a marked departure from circularity, especially on the W., where the wall consists of two well-marked linear sections, with an intermediate portion where the crest for 20 miles or more bends inwards or towards the centre. From the S.W. flank of this formation extends towards the E. side of Stadius one of the grandest mountain arms on the moon's visible surface, rising at one place 9,000 feet, and in two others 5,000 and 3,000 feet respectively above the Mare Imbrium) . If this magnificent object is observed when the morning terminator falls a little W. of Stadius, it affords a spectacle not easily forgotten. I have often seen it at this phase when its broad mass of shadow extended across the well-known crater-row E. of Copernicus, some of the component craters appearing between the spires of shade representing the loftiest peaks on the mountain arm. There is a prominent little crater on the crest of the arm between two of the peaks, and another on the plain to the east.

Description: Wikipedia


Additional Information

  • Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
    • Pike, 1976: 3.43 km
    • Westfall, 2000: 3.43 km
    • Viscardy, 1985: 3.57 km
    • Cherrington, 1969: 3.74 km
  • West rim slope 47° (Pohn, 1963)
  • Central peak composition: A, GNTA1, GNTA2 & AGN (Tompkins & Pieters, 1999)
  • Sekiguchi provides a wonderful map with measured interior features. The tallest peak rises 1.2 km above the crater floor Sekiguchi, 1972. - fatastronomer
  • Moore et al, 1980 report a thermal anomaly feature at a dome near Eratosthenes A. Domes are unlikely to be young, nor to have steep slopes, so it is unusual that one would be a thermal cooling anomaly.
  • The type crater for the, Eratosthenian stratigraphic period in lunar history.
  • During the mission of Apollo 17 in december 1972, crater Eratosthenes was photographed in earthlight. This happened when CSM America was directly above Eratosthenes, when the lunar sunrise-terminator was still too eastward. These earthlight photographs are included in Apollo 17's Magazine 158-WW (35mm NIKON B&W photographs), see: Sheet 8 of A17's Index Maps. Some of those photographs were reproduced in the Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report. - DannyCaes Dec 22, 2007
  • TSI = 35, CPI = 20, FI = 20; MI =75 Smith and Sanchez, 1973
  • WARNING: Those who want to create a large assembled moonmap of Antonin Rukl's 76 small charts (of the moon's near side from his Atlas of the Moon) shall notice a shift of about one millimeter to the left at the northern half of Eratosthenes (on the lower margin of chart 21). The southern half of Eratosthenes (on the upper margin of chart 32) shows a shift of about one millimeter to the right. If you want to make enlarged photocopies of all 76 charts (say: at 200 percent of the original prints) keep in mind that the shift at Eratosthenes will be 4 millimeters! (almost half a centimeter). Crater Manilius (on charts 23 and 34) shows the same phenomenon. - DannyCaes Jul 27, 2011
  • Cattermole reported the disappearance of the central mountains of Eratosthenes on 11th May 1954, although the surrounding detail remained clearly visible. Source: V.A.Firsoff's The Old Moon and the New (1969), page 183.- DannyCaes May 19, 2012


  • Named for Eratosthenes (276 BC - 194 BC), a Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer. He is noted for devising a system of latitude and longitude, and for being the first known to have calculated the circumference of the Earth.
  • This name has continued unchanged since its original usage for this feature on Riccioli's map (Whitaker, p. 212).

LROC Articles

Eratosthenes Crater and the Lunar Timescale
Terraces in Eratosthenes Crater
Eratosthenes Central Peak

LPOD Articles

A Moth Lover's View of the Moon One Crater’s Nomenclature Geologic map Albedo & rays Secondary Matters Overlooked Secondaries A Bucket of Darkness Flat Out of Luck A Fence