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Lat: 17.9°S, Long: 35.0°E, Diam: 11 km, Depth: 2.42 km, Rükl: 58

external image normal_Rosse_LO-IV-072H_LTVT.JPG
LO-IV-072H The "5-km" (current official IAU diameter) crater in the lower left is Rosse C.
Not seen in this photograph, just beyond the upper-right corner of the frame is the location of Rosse's Ghost''', which is an officially unnamed ghost-crater about the same size (diameter) of Rosse itself.


LPOD Photo Gallery Lunar Orbiter Images

  • Although there seems to be nothing in the LPI's list of orbital Apollo photographs of Rosse, this bowl-shaped crater WAS photographed during the missions of Apollo 8, Apollo 11, and Apollo 16 (Rosse was captured on oblique south-looking photographs of Mare Nectaris).- DannyCaes May 9, 2010
    • Apollo 8 photography:
      • On Apollo 8's orbital south-looking oblique Hasselblad-camera photograph AS8-13-2242, it (the bowl-shaped crater Rosse) was captured near the frame's upper margin.
      • On AS8-13-2243 it is noticeable a little bit above and to the left of the frame's centre.
    • Apollo 11 photography:
      • On two of Apollo 11's orbital south-looking oblique Hasselblad-camera photographs (AS11-42-6235 and 6236) it (crater Rosse) is visible near Fracastorius (the large bay-shaped arc at the southern rim of Mare Nectaris).
    • Apollo 16 photography:
      • On Apollo 16's orbital south-looking oblique Fairchild-metric/mapping photograph AS16-M-0686 it (Rosse) is visible near the central part of the curved horizon. One of Tycho's bright rays is like some sort of arrow, pointing at it (at crater Rosse). Photograph made during Revolution 26 (Apollo 16's first "rev" of south looking oblique photographs).
      • See also AS16-M-2449 (the bright Rosse near the central part of the curved horizon). Photograph made during Revolution 48 (Apollo 16's second "rev" of south looking oblique photographs).
    • Research orbital Apollo photography: Danny Caes


(LAC zone 97A1) LAC map Geologic map


Description: Elger

(IAU Directions) ROSSE.--A fine bright deep crater in the Mare Nectaris, N. of the pointed termination of the E. wall of Fracastorius, with which it is connected by a bold curved ridge, with a crater upon it. A ray from Tycho, striking along the W. wall of Fracastorius passes near this object. A rill from near Bohnenberger terminates at this crater.

Description: Wikipedia


Additional Information


  • Named (according to the IAU Planetary Gazetteer) for William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse KP (June 17, 1800 – October 31, 1867), an Irish astronomer. He was the sixteenth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin between 1862 and 1867. In the 1840s, he built his "Leviathan of Parsonstown", a 72-inch (183-cm) telescope at Birr, Ireland (then called "Parsonstown") which was for many decades the largest telescope in the world.
  • The name Rosse was given by Lee to a walled plain "first noticed by Mr. Birt, on November 3, 1862 [and better on 27 August 1863]..Its selenographical coordinates are 53° to 60° S. latitude and 48° to 55° E. longitude, and it extends from the craters Zuchius and Segner on the south to Phocylides on the north...This walled plain has received the name of "Rosse," in honour of the nobleman [the 3rd Earl] who has so liberally conti-ibuted to the advancement of astronomy by the erection of one of the largest telescopes in existence at Parsonstown in Ireland." (Lee, 1864, page 8)
  • The following thumbnails link to simulations of the Moon as it would have appeared from London on the dates mentioned by Dr. Lee. Birt's Rosse, as described by him, is indicated by white arrows:
1862 Nov 03
1863 Aug 27

external image Birts_Rosse_1862Nov03_LTVT_simulation.JPG

[[Birts_Rosse_1863Aug27_LTVT_simulation.JPG|external image Birts_Rosse_1863Aug27_LTVT_simulation.JPG]]

  • Birt and Lee's Rosse was listed as Number 417 in the British Association catalog as published in Webb (1873). It is also listed in Birt (1863) and Birt (1864, see Bibliography, below).
  • In his book, Neison describes (page 512) the earlier Rosse as "an irregular extent of surface between Zuchius, Segner and Phocylides...unworthy of being named." Although he says he is "transfering" the name, he also notates the name for the present feature as one of his own new proposals (the "N" after the name). As astronomical historian Robert Garfinkle has noticed Neison makes no mention of the Third Earl in the text of his book, but devotes many pages to the recent work on lunar temperatures by his son the Fourth Earl, Laurence Parsons (1840-1908), so (were it not for the remark about "transfering" an earlier name) the son seems more likely to be the person Neison intended to honor at the new location, but he may have intended to honor both. - JimMosher
  • The present feature was Catalog Number 4143 in Mary Blagg's Collated List, where it is noted that the name Rosse appears in Neison, 1876, but that the same feature was called Fracastor E by Beer and Mädler and (possibly incorrectly) both Fracastor E and Beer by Julius Schmidt.
  • The name Rosse was selected in the IAU's Named Lunar Formations (1935, where it is attributed to Neison, and again noted that Schmidt used the name Beer). The names Rosse C and Rosse Alpha (a peak northeast of Rosse) were also introduced for Catalog numbers 4148 and 4149, both names being attributed to Neison.
  • Rosse's Ghost (a nickname from D.Caes for the ghost-crater NNE of Rosse).

LPOD Articles

Early Drawings


Note: early papers by the 4th Earl, while the 3rd Earl was still alive, appear under the name Lord Oxmantown
  • Bennett, J. A.; Hoskin, M. 1981. The Rosse Papers and Instruments. Journal for the History of Astronomy. V. 12, P. 216. (does not make clear which Earl made which drawings)
  • Birt, W. R. 1863. On the Extension of Lunar Nomenclature. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 24, p. 19. -- introduction of name Rosse, together with Robinson and South, astronomers associated with the 3rd Earl
  • Birt, W. R. 1864. Correspondence: Lunar Physics. Astronomical register, volume 2, pp. 237-238. (on the lunar drawings of Rosse)
    • Since he was still living, the "Earl" referred to by Birt must be the 3rd Earl, but the drawing of the Orion Nebula sounds like the celebrated composite work prepared by the 4th Earl and published by him in 1868 (as might be the lunar drawings, as well, according to the LPOD).
  • Birt, W. R. 1864. Recently named Lunar Craters. W. R. Birt, Esq. Astronomische Nachrichten, volume 61, p.213 -- more detail regarding the proposed changes
  • Lee, John. 1864. "On the Lunar "Mare Smythii," the walled Plain "Rosse," the "Percy Mountains," and the newly named Craters, "Phillips," "Wrottesley" " Chevallier," and "Piazzi Smyth." Report of the 23rd Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1863). pages 7-9.
  • Murphy, F. 1965. The Parsons of Parsonstown. Irish Astronomical Journal, vol. 7(2/3), p. 53.
  • Rosse, Earl Of (4th). 1873. The Bakerian Lecture: On the Radiation of Heat from the Moon, the Law of Its Absorption by our Atmosphere, and of Its Variation in Amount with Her Phases. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Volume 163, pp. 587-627