Lunar Catenae

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List of Lunar Catenae


Catenae (crater chains) should not to be confused with Boulder Tracks!

IAU-named Crater Chains

Catena Abulfeda, Lat: 16.9°S, Long: 17.2°E, Length: 219 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 57
Catena Artamonov, Lat: 26.0°N, Long: 105.9°E, Length: 134 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Brigitte, Lat: 18.5°N, Long: 27.5°E, Length: 5 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 24
Catena Davy, Lat: 11.0°S, Long: 7.0°W, Length: 50 km, Rukl: 43
Catena Dziewulski, Lat: 19.0°N, Long: 100.0°E, Length: 80 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Gregory, Lat: 0.6°S, Long: 129.9°E, Length: 152 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Humboldt, Lat: 21.5°S, Long: 84.6°E, Length: 165 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 60
Catena Krafft, Lat: 15.0°N, Long: 72.0°W, Length: 60 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 17
Catena Kurchatov, Lat: 37.2°N, Long: 136.3°E, Length: 226 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Leuschner (GDL), Lat: 4.7°N, Long: 110.1°W, Length: 364 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Littrow, Lat: 22.2°N, Long: 29.5°E, Length: 10 km, Depth: km, Rükl 25
Catena Lucretius (RNII), Lat: 3.4°S, Long: 126.1°W, Length: 271 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Mendeleev, Lat: 6.3°N, Long: 139.4°E, Length: 188 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Michelson (GIRD), Lat: 1.4°N, Long: 113.4°W, Length: 456 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Pierre, Lat: 19.8°N, Long: 31.8°W, Length: 9 km, Depth: km, Rükl 19
Catena Sumner, Lat: 37.3°N, Long: 112.3°E, Length: 247 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)
Catena Sylvester, Lat: 81.4°N, Long: 86.2°W, Length: 173 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 3
Catena Taruntius, Lat: 3.0°N, Long: 48.0°E, Length: 100 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 37
Catena Timocharis, Lat: 29.0°N, Long: 13.0°W, Length: 50 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 21
Catena Yuri, Lat: 24.4°N, Long: 30.4°W, Length: 5 km, Depth: km, Rükl 19

Unofficially named crater chains, by Danny Caes

  • Catena Aristoteles (once known as Rima Aristoteles on Chart 4 of the Times Atlas of the Moon) (see: ).
  • Catena Beer, Rükl: 21, (a pronounced and telescopically observable chain east-southeast of crater Beer, south of Beer A) (was once known as Fossa Archimedes, see Lunar Topographic Orthophotomap 41-A4).
  • Catena Encke, Rukl: 30, (a small chain of depressions south-southwest of Encke).
  • Catena Hainzel-Elger (depicted as a rille on Chart E7 in the System of Lunar Craters).
  • Catena Kostinskiy D (north-northwest of Kostinskiy D) (see:
  • Catena Le Monnier, Rükl 25, (a row of tiny depressions on the floor of Le Monnier) (or is it Rima Le Monnier?).
  • Catena Lippmann-Mendel, Rükl: (farside), (a possible chain of depressions, or a narrow valley, near the northwestern part of Lippmann's rim, running north-northeast toward the western part of Mendel's rim)(detected by D.Caes on page 268 (LAC 134) in the Clementine Atlas of the Moon).
  • Catena Love (a pronounced chain on the western part of farside crater Love's rim).
  • Catena Lubbock H, Rükl 48, (an odd rille-shaped chain of depressions slightly north of Lubbock H, see also AS11-42-6309).
  • Catena Muller, Rükl: 44, (the pronounced chain of depressions west of Muller).
  • Catena Olcott (the chain east-southeast of Olcott E, north-northwest of Kostinskiy D).
  • Catena Papaleksi, (see ASU Lunar Image of the Week, 05/04/2009).
  • Catena Prager, Rükl: (farside), (the chain north of Prager)(see APOLLO OVER THE MOON; A VIEW FROM ORBIT, Chapter 5: Craters (Part 3), Figure 134)(see also the L.P.I.'s AS17-149-22838).
  • Catena Saenger, Rükl: (farside), (a small chain at 4° North/ 99°40' East)(west of Saenger and southeast of Erro). See AS16-120-19217.
  • Catena Snellius A (the chain of depressions southwest of Snellius A).
  • Catena Tycho (north-northwest of Tycho, possibly the "source" of the western one of the bright double ray toward Weiss).
  • Catena Worden (or Alfred Worden's Catena: a chain of teardrop-shaped craterlets near the concentric crater Gruithuisen K) (once photographed by Apollo 15's CMP Alfred Worden, on color Hasselblad film). For online photographs of this chain, see the lower part of the Gruithuisen-page.
  • Small irregular chain of craterlets immediately west-northwest of the hillock Guericke-Mu. See AS16-P-5418 Research: Danny Caes
  • Possible chains?:
    • Catena Crookes X, see mosaic of Apollo 8 photographs, created by David Woods and Frank O'Brien (Apollo 8 Flight Journal).
    • Catena Schiller D, start: Lat: 55.4° S, Long: 47.1° W, end: 56.4° S, 53.5°W near Segner K,Picture and diagram of the catena

Crater chains discovered by Aleksander Bozic (SandiBandi)

Patrick Moore's named crater chains

  • Patrick Moore, in the early 1960's, advanced the idea that large craters, and some mare features, on the Moon are aligned preferentially along circular arcs running north and south. These chains are much larger than the IAU-named ones, and Moore regarded them as incontrovertible evidence of the volcanic origin of the larger craters (assuming the early Moon had cracked along these meridional lines).
    {| class="captionBox"

| class="captionedImage" | moorechains-small.jpg |- | class="imageCaption" | Click on image for larger view |}

  • Image above attempts to show a modern representation of the series of crater chains that appear in a graphic in Patrick Moore's 1963 book Survey of the Moon pp.102-103. The graphic and text within the book names just a few of the craters and basins that make up the proposed chains, so the list below is based around these sources - added with a little judgement of feature locations by this author. Main moon image is of a low resolution map obtained from Map-A-Planet, and the cardinal notation and orientation is as it appears in the original graphic (i.e. pre-1961 with South on top and East at right). Projection of map was made using LTVT.
  • Note: Interesting to read Moore's comments (p.103) in this 1963 edition where he looks at the arrangement, or non-randomness, of the features that make up the chains:
    • "No such chains extend from east to west, and it seems, then, that we are dealing with formations which were born along lines of weakness in the Moon's crust - connected no doubt with the influence of the Earth, since the lining-up of the chains with the central meridian can hardly be due to chance.""
  • These comments pre-suppose the current knowledge we have on the occurrences of lunar crater chains today; where we understand them to be predominantly formed by (volcanic aside) meteoritic bombardment, secondary cratering, and collapse.
  • Below, reference list of Moore's chain names for image above. - JohnMoore2
Chain name
Names of features in chain (italic names are uncertain)
Eastern Chain

(1) Bailly, (2) Phocylides, (3) Schikard, (4) Inghirami, (5) Lagrange, (6) Darwin, (7) Grimaldi, (8) Riccioli, (9) Hevelius, (10) Russell, (11) Babbage, (12) Pythagoras, (13) J. Herschel.

Great Western Chain

(1) Boguslawsky, (2) Boussingault, (3) Pontécoulent, (4) Furnerius, (5) Petavius, (6) Vendilinus, (7) Langrenus, (8) Mare Crisium, (9) Cleomedes, (10) Messala, (11) Endymion, (12) Mare Humboltianum, (13) Meton.

Hipparchus Chain

(1) Albategnius, (2) Hipparchus.

Janssen Chain

(1) Hommel, (2) Janssen.

Mare Humorum Chain

(1) Mare Humorum, (2) Gassendi, (3) Letronne.

Ptolemaeus-Walter Chain

(1) Maurolycus, (2) Stöfler, (3) Walther ('Walter' to some), (4) Regiomontanus, (5) Purbach, (6) Arzachel, (7) Alphonsus, (8) Ptolemaeus, (9) Sinus Medii, (10) Archimedes, (11) Plato.

Theophilus Chain

(1) Catharina, (2) Cyrillus, (3) Theophilus.

  • More recently Jaffe and Buckley (1976) have presented evidence that large craters of specific ages lie preferentially along circular arcs (but not necessarily arcs of constant longitude). The reason for this non-randomness is not known.

LPOD Articles

Little Known Polar Valleys, A Chain of Evidence, I'll Drink to That, Straight Walk,