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Arago (and arcuate fractures south of it)

Lat: 6.2°N, Long: 21.4°E, Diam: 26 km, Depth: 2.68 km, Rükl: 35, Eratosthenian

external image normal_061110_Arago+Lamont_Tar.jpgexternal image Arago-LOIV-085-h1.jpgexternal image Arago-Clem-Colr-albedo.jpg
Left: George Tarsoudis, Right: LO-IV-085-h1 Color: Clementine


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images
Frames 2043 to 2058 (Lunar Orbiter 2) show the curious system of arcuate fractures south of Arago (see also: Additional Information, below).
Arago E, an elliptical crater north-northeast of Arago itself, was captured in Apollo 15's orbital Hasselblad frame AS15-92-12538.
Additional research Lunar Orbiter 2 and Apollo 15 photography: Danny Caes
A High-Resolution scan of AS10-31-4630 (an oblique view of Arago) is inluded in David Woods's Apollo 10 Flight Journal.


(LAC zone 60C1) LAC map Geologic map LM map AIC map


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) ARAGO.--A much larger formation, 18 miles in diameter, N. of Manners, with a small crater on its N. border, and exhibiting two or three spurs from the wall on the opposite side. The inner slopes are terraced, and there is a small central mountain. There are two curious circular protuberances on the Mare W. of Arago, which are well seen when the E. longitude of the morning terminator is about 19 deg., and a long cleft, passing about midway between them, and extending from the foot of the W. wall to a small crater on the edge of the Mare near Sosigenes. Another cleft, also terminating at this crater, runs towards Arago and the more northerly of the protuberances.

Description: Wikipedia


Additional Information

Depth data from Kurt Fisher database
  • Pike, 1976: 2.68 km
  • Westfall, 2000: 2.68 km
  • Viscardy, 1985: 1.8 km
  • Cherrington, 1969: 1.79 km
  • A thermal anomaly crater, implying a youthful age - Moore et al, 1980
  • TSI = 25, CPI = 10, FI = 20; MI =55 Smith and Sanchez, 1973
  • Arago C, a small craterlet northeast of Arago B (both south of Arago itself) was twice depicted as a hillock on page 7 of Harold Hill's book A Portfolio of Lunar Drawings. On page 6 Mr.Hill says: -The small object lying just NE of Arago B was twice depicted as a hill and yet has been observed as an unmistakeable craterlet at other times! Seeing can play some strange tricks with interpretation and I have found under a low lighting that the bright sun-facing inner walls of craterlets can sometimes be mistaken for hills.
  • There's a very difficult to detect ghost-crater immediately north-northwest of the bowl-shaped crater Arago B. This ghost-crater is a little bit larger than Arago B itself. There's also a small shallow rimless crater just north-northeast of Arago B. - DannyCaes Oct 13, 2017 Also captured on Lunar Orbiter 4's LO-IV 085 h1, but... very difficult to see!

Piero Leonardi's Arcuate Fractures, south of Arago

There's a system of arcuate fractures south of Arago, described and depicted in a book by Piero Leonardi (see bibliography below). These arcuate fractures are an interesting target for telescopic observers and photographers of the Arago/Lamont-region, especially during local post-sunrise or pre-sunset conditions (VERY low sun, pronounced shadows). - DannyCaes Feb 24, 2008
See also:


- Dominique Francois Jean Arago (February 26, 1786 – October 2, 1853) was a French mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and politician. Many the most creditable national enterprises, dating from this period, are due to his advocacy - such as the reward to Louis-Jacques Daguerre for the invention of photography, the grant for the publication of the works of Fermat and Laplace, the acquisition of the museum of Cluny, the development of railways and electric telegraphs, the improvement of the reneile.
- The system of bow-like arcs south of Arago are unofficially called "Arago's Arcuate Fractures" by - DannyCaes Feb 24, 2008.

LPOD Articles

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Drawing & text by Alika Herring. S&T July 1960, p. 34.

A Portfolio of Lunar Drawings (Harold Hill), pages 10, 11.

The arcuate fractures south of Arago:
  • VOLCANOES AND IMPACT CRATERS ON THE MOON AND MARS by Piero Leonardi (1969), Pages 119 and 138.

D. F. J. Arago in the Sourcebook Project (William R. Corliss)

- In Mysterious Universe, a handbook of astronomical anomalies (1979) :
(articles in which D.F.J.Arago is mentioned)
  • Pages 96 and 99: On the Visibility of the Dark Side of Venus (A. Schafarik, Report of the British Association, 1873).
  • Page 224: Lights in the Moon (C. Stanley Ogilvy, Popular Astronomy, 1949).
  • Page 280: On Dark Meteors (Frits Hopman, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 1898).

- In Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and related weather phenomena (1983) :

  • GWF2-R1: On Thunder and Lightning (D.F.J.Arago, Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 1838). GWF2: Stone Falls.