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Lat: 67.8°S, Long: 179.6°E, Diam: 125 km, Depth: km, Rükl: (farside)

external image normal_minnaert-clem1.jpg


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(LAC zone 141B2) USGS Digital Atlas PDF


Description: Wikipedia


Additional Information


  • Named for Marcel Gilles Jozef Minnaert (February 12, 1893 – October 26, 1970), a Belgian astronomer and astrophysicist. At Utrecht University, he became interested in astronomy and he became a pioneer of solar research. He specialized in spectroscopy and the study of stellar atmospheres; but made contributions to the interpretation of lunar topography from photometric measurements. He was also the author of a series of several widely read elementary science books, including the immensely popular The Nature of Light and Color in the Open Air (English translation: Dover, 1954), dealing with the subject of atmospheric optics. In his final years, Minnaert served on the Lunar Nomenclature Committee of IAU Commission 17, and was instrumental in the development of a system of names for the Moon's farside. He died shortly after the 1970 General Assembly meeting at which he was elected president of Commission 17, and at which the soon-to-be-published new nomenclature was approved.
  • The name Minnaert was provisionally included among the long list of IAU-approved farside lunar feature names published in Menzel, 1971 (of which Minnaert was a posthumous co-author). The name was approved in 1973 (IAU Transactions XVB).
  • Danny Caes notes that the crater presently known as Minnaert was labeled Rayleigh on Antonín Rükl's 1972 Maps of lunar hemispheres. Rayleigh was one of six nearside names that were deemed sufficiently indistinct to merit deleting the nearside names and reusing the names on the farside (IAU Transactions XIVB, 1970). However, subsequent to the October, 1970 printing of provisional ACIC maps illustrating the new IAU farside nomenclature, these six nearside names were reinstated (Menzel, 1971), so Rükl's use of the name Rayleigh for the farside feature was incorrect (as he notes in the booklet accompanying his maps). - Jim Mosher
  • The name Rayleigh was also printed on the farside map of Hallwag (at the location of crater Minnaert).- DannyCaes Jun 19, 2010

LPOD Articles


  • Minnaert, M. G. J. 1967. Photometric Methods for Determination of Lunar Relief in Measure of the Moon, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Selenodesy and Lunar Topography, held at the University of Manchester, England, May 30 - June 4, 1966, Dordrecht: Reidel, and New York: Gordon and Breach, edited by Zdenek Kopal and Constantine L. Goudas. Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Vol. 8, p. 383.

About Minnaert himself:

  • DE ROK VAN HET UNIVERSUM - MARCEL MINNAERT; ASTROFYSICUS, 1893 - 1970, by Leo Molenaar (Uitgeverij Van Halewyck, 2003).
  • BOLWERK VAN DE STERREN by C. De Jager, H.G. Van Bueren, M. Kuperus (Bekking, 1993).

M. G. J. Minnaert in the Sourcebook Project (William R. Corliss)

- Page 127 in Mysterious Universe, a handbook of astronomical anomalies (1979) :
  • The Maedler Phenomenon (Richard Baum, Strolling Astronomer, 1978)