Mare Insularum

From The Moon
Jump to: navigation, search

Insularum Basin

(unofficial name; IAU feature name for central 513 km of mare: Mare Insularum )

Lat: 7.5°N, Long: 30.9°W, Main ring diam: 600 km, Depth: km, Rükl: 30

external image normal_Mare_Insularum-CLA_D23-LTVT.JPGexternal image normal_Insularum-Basin_LIDAR_LTVT-Spudis_rings.JPG
Left: Consolidated Lunar Atlas (Plate D23) The white circle indicates the position and 513 km diameter of the IAU's Mare Insularum. The deeply shadowed crater on the right is Copernicus and the smaller rayed crater on the left is Kepler. Right: Clementine LIDAR Altimeter, altitude-coded shaded relief from PDS Map-a-Planet remapped (like the CLA plate) to a north-up aerial view by LTVT. The dot is the center position and the red circle the main ring position from Chuck Wood's Impact Basin Database. The white circle shows the position of the 1000 km secondary ring. Note that the Insularum Basin is not centered on Mare Insularum, although it does contain most of it within the outer ring.


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images
The eastern and southern parts of Mare Insularum were photographed by the Fairchild mapping/metric camera aboard Apollo 16's SIM-bay. See the last frames of Revolution 37 (the region north of Fra Mauro, sunrise terminator).
Research Danny Caes


(LAC zone 57C2) LAC map Geologic map AIC map

Basin Classification

(description of terms and most numeric basin data from Wood, C.A. (2004) Impact Basin Database)
Certainty of Existence
Wilhelms Age Group
Ring Diameters
Mare Thickness
600, 1000 km


Description: Wikipedia

Mare Insularum

Additional Information


The IAU feature name means "Sea of Islands" (named by Don E. Wilhelms).
The name Mare Insularum refers to the many islands of terra material in the mare. At a nomenclature meeting Hal Masursky said, "Well, there can only be one ocean on the moon" (Oceanus Procellarum). To prove him wrong, I suggested that a large expanse with a lot of terra islands be named Oceanus Insularum. The suggestion as adopted officially by the IAU in its 1976 meeting in Sydney, though with a change from Oceanus to Mare. I'm not sure whether it was all worth the trouble. (Don E. Wilhelms, TO A ROCKY MOON, page 399, note 18).
  • The impact basin is named after the mare.
  • With Mare Imbrium north of it, this region (Mare Insularum) was called Mare Mediterraneum by Johann Hewelcke (Hevelius). See page 53 in E.A.Whitaker's Mapping and Naming the Moon for J.Hewelcke's moonmap (Figure Q) from 1647. - DannyCaes Mar 11, 2016

LPOD Articles

Insularum Interlude
How thick are rays?