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Lat: 5.04°N, Long: 120.43°E, Diam: 77.55 km, Depth: 4.15 km, Rükl: (farside), Copernican

external image normal_King%20AS16-M-1181.jpg
Apollo 16 image AS16-M-1181 HR; north to right.


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo ImagesASU Apollo Image Archive

  • The first four orbital Hasselblads in Apollo 11's Magazine 44-V, of which AS11-44-6543 is the last one of the four, show crater King' without shadows (illuminated by high sun). The curious object between King and the image's lower left corner is one of the four exhaust nozzle clusters of LM Eagles Ascent Stage. Compare this high-sun photograph with page 130 (LAC 65) in the Clementine Atlas. - DannyCaes Dec 25, 2007
  • Kaguya Image (high sun)


(LAC zone 65C1) LTO map Topophotomap - King Central Peaks Topophotomap - King North Flank (King Y)


King is one of the youngest large (77 km diameter) craters on the lunar farside. From Clementine images it appears that King is in a ray system, but it is not clear where the rays originate. King's very fresh terraces convincingly show how wall rock cascaded downslope, mostly as giant arcuate blocks, and as rubble piles near the crater floor. The lobster claw-shaped central peak may simply be a roughly circular peak whose southern edge was overlapped by a massive lobe of slumped wall rubble. To the north (top) a pre-existing crater is full of a smooth dark material. During the Apollo period it was sometimes thought that this smooth material (which is also on the bottom left part of the crater floor) was volcanic, but it is now regarded more likely to be rocks melted by the energy of impact. [Similar, but smaller ponds of impact melt are visible telescopically to the north of Theophilus.] Notice that the northern rim of King is not as well defined as most of the rest of the rim, and LTO charts show that the north rim is 2.5 to 3 km lower than most other parts of the rim. King was probably formed by an oblique impact, with the bolide coming from the south. This might account for the N-S alignment of the central peaks, the deposit of rubble from the south rim onto the central peaks, the low northern rim, and the pond of impact melt to the north. - tychocrater Jul 11, 2007 (from LPOD, June 26, 2006)

Description Wikipedia


Additional Information

  • IAU page: King
  • Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
    • Pike, 1976: 4.15 km
  • Central peak composition: GNTA2 & AGN (Tompkins & Pieters, 1999)
  • Crater has best impact melt deposits on Moon.
  • Dark collar (impact melt like Tycho) most evident to N, width 0.8 crater diameter. [Kirata et al LPSC 30: 1350]
  • Exterior impact melt deposits most extensive to NE, max of ~30 km beyond rim. Most extensive ejecta, rays and secondary craters to the NNW, with max wall slumping on SSE side of crater, and topographically lowest rim crest to S & NE (Hawke and Head, 1977).
  • The King impact melt is a Tier 1 Constellation Region of Interest.
  • According to Wikipedia, Lunar Orbiter 2 impacted between King and Ctesibius (3° North/ 119.1° East). The pinpoint location of Lunar Orbiter 2's impact craterlet was confirmed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).


  • The crater is named for two people:
    • Arthur Scott King (January 18, 1876 – April 17, 1957) was an American physicist and astrophysicist. He was offered a position at Mt. Wilson Observatory in 1907. He spent much of the remainder of his career studying the spectra of elements and molecules, with particular focus on rare earth elements. He also performed studies of meteors, including their spectra and directional paths.
    • Edward Skinner King (1861-1931) was an American astronomer. In 1887 he joined the staff of the Harvard Observatory, where he supervised the photographic imaging and related work. He became a pioneer and authority on the process of photographic photometry. In 1912 he noticed that some types of films appeared to perform better during the winter months, which led to the use of the so-called "cold camera" where the temperature is lowered to around -40° C.
  • Three portions of the central peaks were assigned separate IAU-approved names on Topophotomap 65C1/S1: Mons André (eastern complex), Mons Dieter (western complex) and Mons Ganau (southern complex). In addition a fresh crater on what appears to be landslide flowing into Mons Ganau was given the name Sita. Finally, one of the elevated areas on the eastern floor was given the name Mons Ardeshir, and one of several oddly-shaded peaks or crater-cones north of that was named Mons Dilip.
  • Is King the only crater on the moon which received several official names for its odd-shaped system of central peaks?
  • Running over King, from 1° North/ 121° East to 10° North/ 119° East, should be a surface formation which was once called "Rupes Sibericus" in Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report.
  • Heather, D.J. & Dunkin, S.K (2003) use the name A1-Tusi for a discrete object other than King: 'The main pool in the pre-existing A1-Tusi crater has a minimum depth of 150 m'. Is this a typographic error for Al-Tusi or something else? I cannot tell from the abstract.- astrokat Aug 10, 2010

LROC Articles

LPOD Articles


A certain King in the Sourcebook Project (William R. Corliss)
- On page 586 of the book Mysterious Universe, a handbook of astronomical anomalies (1979), a certain King is mentioned in the article The Extra-Galactic Ferment (Mosaic, 1978). Is this King one of the two mentioned above in the section Nomenclature? - DannyCaes Mar 7, 2015

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