Einstein (crater)

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Einstein (crater)
Einstein crater 4188 h2 4188 h3.jpg
Lunar Orbiter 4 image. Einstein is the larger, eroded crater. The smaller central crater is Einstein A.
Coordinates 16°18′N 88°42′W / 16.3°N 88.7°W / 16.3; -88.7Coordinates: 16°18′N 88°42′W / 16.3°N 88.7°W / 16.3; -88.7
Diameter 198 km
Depth Unknown
Colongitude 91° at sunrise
Eponym Albert Einstein

Einstein is a large lunar crater that lies along the western limb of the Moon, making it difficult to observe from the Earth. The visibility of this formation is affected by libration effects, but even under the best conditions not much detail can be observed except from lunar orbit. Nearby craters of note include Moseley just to the north, Dalton along the eastern rim, Vasco da Gama just to the southeast, and Bohr to the south-southeast. The formation Vallis Bohr is visible to the south.

The outer rim of this walled plain has been all but obliterated by many small impacts. Only along the eastern wall, where it joins Dalton crater, does a significant rim still survive. Occupying the center of the interior floor is Einstein A, an impact crater with terraced inner walls and a central peak. The outer rampart of this concentric crater spreads across the interior floor, covering over half the diameter of Einstein. Several smaller craters also lie scattered across the floor, but there are sections of relatively flat surface in the southwest part of the floor. Two small craters on the west side have fissured floors. These are believed to be secondary craters from the Orientale impact to the south.[1]

Because it is only visible under very favorable conditions, this crater was only discovered as recently as 1952 by Patrick Moore. The original name for this formation was 'Caramuel', but it was later changed to Einstein by the IAU in 1964.[2]

Satellite craters[edit]

By convention these features are identified on lunar maps by placing the letter on the side of the crater midpoint that is closest to Einstein.

Einstein Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 16.7° N 88.2° W 51 km
R 13.9° N 91.8° W 20 km
S 15.1° N 91.5° W 20 km


  1. ^ The geologic history of the Moon, 1987, Wilhelms, Don E.; with sections by McCauley, John F.; Trask, Newell J. USGS Professional Paper: 1348. Figure 3.9 A (online)
  2. ^ Einstein, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)