Mare Tranquillitatis

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Mare Tranquillitatis
Mtranquillitatis.jpg
The Sea of Tranquility of the Moon
Coordinates 8°30′N 31°24′E / 8.5°N 31.4°E / 8.5; 31.4Coordinates: 8°30′N 31°24′E / 8.5°N 31.4°E / 8.5; 31.4
Diameter 873 km (542 mi)[1][2]
Eponym Sea of Tranquility

Mare Tranquillitatis (Latin for Sea of Tranquility) is a lunar mare that sits within the Tranquillitatis basin on Earth's only moon, known officially as "the Moon". The mare material within the basin consists of basalt formed in the intermediate to young age group of the Upper Imbrian epoch. The surrounding mountains are thought to be of the Lower Imbrian epoch, but the actual basin is probably Pre-Nectarian. The basin has irregular margins and lacks a defined multiple-ringed structure. The irregular topography in and near this basin results from the intersection of the Tranquillitatis, Nectaris, Crisium, Fecunditatis, and Serenitatis basins with two throughgoing rings of the Procellarum basin. Palus Somni, on the northeastern rim of the mare, is filled with the basalt that spilled over from Tranquillitatis.

This Mare has a slight bluish tint relative to the rest of the moon and stands out quite well when color is processed and extracted from multiple photographs. The color is likely due to higher metal content in the basaltic soil or rocks.[3]

Naming[edit]

Mare Tranquillitatis was named in 1651 by astronomers Francesco Grimaldi and Giovanni Battista Riccioli in their lunar map Almagestum novum.[4][5]

Landings[edit]

In February 1965, the Ranger 8 spacecraft was deliberately crashed into the Mare Tranquillitatis, after successfully transmitting 7,137 close-range photographs of the Moon in the final 23 minutes of its mission.

This mare was also the landing site for the first manned landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. After making a smooth touchdown in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module named Eagle, astronaut Neil Armstrong told flight controllers on Earth, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." The landing area at 0.8° N, 23.5° E has been designated Statio Tranquillitatis after Armstrong's name for it, and three small craters to the north of the base have been named Aldrin, Collins, and Armstrong in honor of the Apollo 11 crew.

Bays[edit]

Along the periphery of the mare are several bay-shaped features that have been given names: Sinus Amoris, Sinus Asperitatis, Sinus Concordiae, and Sinus Honoris.[6]

Views[edit]

Mare Tranquilitatis AS17-M-1647-1653-1659.jpg

These are three views of Mare Tranquillitatis on the moon, taken by the mapping camera of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, facing south-southwest from an average altitude of 111 km on Revolution 36 of the mission. At the left is the east side of Mare Tranquillitatis, with the craters Franz (bottom right), Lyell (dark floor, right of center), and Taruntius (upper left). The "bay" of dark mare (basalt) at left is Sinus Concordiae, with "islands" of older, light highland material. At right is the crater Cauchy, which lies between the Rupes Cauchy and Cauchy rille. The center photo shows the central mare with craters Vitruvius (lower right) and Gardner (bottom center). At the horizon are lighter highlands at the southern margin of the mare, near the Apollo 11 landing site. The crater Jansen is visible at the edges of both the center and right photos. The right photo shows the western mare, with the craters Dawes (lower left) and the large Plinius (43 km diameter), with the Plinius Rilles in the foreground. These photos were taken within minutes of each other as the Command Module America orbited the moon. The sun elevation drops from 46 degrees at left to 30 degrees at right.

In the arts[edit]

Lunar nearside with major maria and craters labelled.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moon Mare/Maria". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Mare Tranquillitatis". Nasa. 
  3. ^ How to capture the color of the Moon
  4. ^ The Face of the Moon. Kansas City, MO: Linda Hall Library. 1989. p. 7. 
  5. ^ "Mare Tranquillitatis naming origin". Lunar Planetary Institute. 
  6. ^ Wood, Chuck (2006-08-10). "Is it Love or a Sinus Infection?". Lunar Photo of the Day. Retrieved 2006-08-10.