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Lat: 16.66°S, Long: 173.25°E, Diam: 137.94 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside), Upper Imbrian

external image normal_Aitken%20AS17-M-0341.jpg
Apollo 17 AS17-M-0341 processed by Stefan Lammel


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images

  • An orbital Hasselblad photograph of Aitken's northern rim (at the horizon) and the area north-northeast of Aitken (at 11° South/ 174° East) is included in the book Full Moon by Michael Light and Andrew Chaikin (plate 31). The photograph is AS11-41-6155.
  • According to the coordinates below the LPI's scan of Apollo 8's frame AS8-18-2838 (seen here as the Apollo 8 Flight Journals HiRes scan), this bright bowl-shaped crater must be Aitken A' just north of Aitken itself.
  • ZOND 8 (October 1970) made extraordinary photographs of Aitken. See, for example, Frame 64 (Aitken is just rightward of the image's centre), and the detail from Frame 59 on Don P. Mitchell's Soviet Moon Images page. North is to the left.
  • Concentric crater southwest of Aitken, see AS15-P-8859, and AS15-P-8861 (this CC is located near the right margins of both frames). See also AS17-150-22964 (because of the high solar illumination in this Hasselblad photograph, the "double walled" appearance of this Concentric Crater is not very distinct). Note that this Concentric Crater is not the same as N°20 in C.A.Wood's list published in 1978. - DannyCaes Nov 15, 2009
  • Research Apollo and Zond photographs: Danny Caes
  • ASU Image of the Week.
  • Lunar Orbiter II's close-up of Aitken's floor in the LPI's HiRes scan of frame LO-II 033 h3.


(LAC zone 104A1) LM map LTO map




Additional Information


  • Named for Robert Grant Aitken (1864-1951), an American astronomer, a Director of the Lick Observator, and long-time editor of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He was the ASP's 1926 Bruce Medalist, and extensive links to information about him can be found there.
  • The name Aitken was among the long list of farside names approved by the IAU in 1970 and published in Menzel, 1971.
  • Aitken happens to fall on the circumference of a large farside depression. The point opposite Aitken on the circumference is the Moon's South Pole. Hence that depression has the unofficial name South Pole-Aitken Basin.
  • In the planning for Apollo 8, the first manned circumlunar mission (1968), this crater (which did not then have an official name) was referred to informally as "Washington" (source: Phil Stooke's LPOD).
  • The cluster of craters on the floor of Aitken which contain Aitken G (east of Aitken's central peak) is sometimes nicknamed "The Cloverleaf" (source: Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report). For LROC close-up, see:

LROC Articles

LPOD Articles


  • Apollo Over the Moon, Chapter 4: The Maria (Part 3), Figure 84 (part of Aitken's "Cloverleaf"), Figure 85 (unnamed crater northeast of Aitken). Chapter 5: Craters (Part 6), Figure 178.
  • Asmar, S. & Schubert, G., 2006. South Pole Aitken compensation mechanisms based on gravity and topography data. In 36th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. COSPAR, Plenary Meeting. pp. 3279+.
  • Eckart, P., 1998. LunARSat - European orbiter mission to the Moon. P. Eckart,
  • Garrick-Bethell, I. & Zuber, M.T., 2009. Elliptical structure of the lunar South Pole-Aitken basin. Icarus, 204(2), 9.
  • Kochemasov, G., 1999. The Deepest Lunar SPA Basin and its Unusual Infilling: Constraints Imposed by Angular Momentum Considerations. In L. Gaddis & C. K. Shearer New Views of the Moon 2: Understanding the Moon Through the Integration of Diverse Datasets. pp. 34+.
  • Rosiek, M., Kirk, R. & Howington-Kraus, A., 1999. Lunar South Pole Topography Derived from Clementine Imagery. In L. Gaddis & C. K. Shearer New Views of the Moon 2: Understanding the Moon Through the Integration of Diverse Datasets. pp. 52+.
  • Spudis, P.D., Gillis, J.J. & Reisse, R.A., 1994. Ancient multiring basins on the moon revealed by clementine laser altimetry. Science (New York, N.Y.), 266(5192), pp. 1848-51.

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