Atlas (crater)

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Atlas crater 4079 h2 4079 h3.jpg
Mosaic of Lunar Orbiter 4 images
Coordinates46°42′N 44°24′E / 46.7°N 44.4°E / 46.7; 44.4Coordinates: 46°42′N 44°24′E / 46.7°N 44.4°E / 46.7; 44.4
Diameter87 km
Depth2.0 km
Colongitude316° at sunrise
Oblique view of Atlas and Hercules from Apollo 16
Atlas (upper right) and Hercules (lower left) Lunar craters
Atlas and Hercules at center, near the terminator as viewed from Earth

Atlas is a prominent lunar impact crater that is located in the northeast part of the Moon, to the southeast of Mare Frigoris. Just to the west is the slightly smaller but still prominent crater Hercules. Northeast of Atlas is the large Endymion.

The inner wall of Atlas is multiply terraced and the edge slumped, forming a sharp-edged lip. This is a floor-fractured crater with a rough and hilly interior that has a lighter albedo than the surroundings. Floor-fractures are usually created as a result of volcanic modifications.

There are two dark patches along the inner edge of the walls; one along the north edge and another besides the southeast edges. A system of slender clefts named the Rimae Atlas crosses the crater floor, and were created by volcanism. Along the north and northeastern inner sides are a handful of dark-halo craters, most likely due to eruptions. Around the midpoint is a cluster of low central hills arranged in a circular formation.

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 Atlas.

Atlas Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 45.3° N 49.6° E 22 km
D 50.4° N 49.6° E 25 km
E 48.6° N 42.5° E 58 km
G 50.7° N 46.5° E 23 km
L 51.3° N 48.6° E 6 km
P 49.6° N 52.7° E 27 km
W 44.4° N 44.2° E 4 km
X 45.1° N 45.0° E 5 km

External links[edit]


  • Wood, Chuck (2005-04-03). "Atlas Alone". Lunar Photo of the Day. Archived from the original on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2006-07-21.
  • "SMART-1 image of crater Atlas". ESA/SPACE X. 2006-02-03. Retrieved 2006-09-20.