Cassini (lunar crater)

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This is about the lunar crater; for the Martian one, see Cassini (Martian crater).
Cassini (LRO).png
LRO image
Coordinates40°12′N 4°36′E / 40.2°N 4.6°E / 40.2; 4.6Coordinates: 40°12′N 4°36′E / 40.2°N 4.6°E / 40.2; 4.6
Diameter57 km
Depth1.2 km
Colongitude356° at sunrise
EponymGiovanni Cassini and Jacques Cassini

Cassini is a lunar impact crater that is located in the Palus Nebularum, at the eastern end of Mare Imbrium. The crater was named after astronomers Giovanni Cassini and Jacques Cassini.[1] To the northeast is the Promontorium Agassiz, the southern tip of the Montes Alpes mountain range. South by south-east of Cassini is the crater Theaetetus. To the northwest is the lone peak Mons Piton.


The floor of Cassini is flooded, and is likely as old as the surrounding mare. The surface is peppered with a multitude of impacts, including a pair of significant craters contained entirely within the rim. Cassini A is the larger of these two, and it lies just north-east of the crater center. A hilly ridge area runs from this inner crater toward the south-east. Near the south-west rim of Cassini is the smaller crater Cassini B.

Oblique view from Apollo 15
The crater Cassini, from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data. Inset graph is elevations taken across the green line, from left to right, and includes dips at the locations of subcraters Cassini B (left) and Cassini A (right).

The walls of this crater are narrow and irregular in form but remain intact despite the lava flooding. Beyond the crater rim is a significant and irregular outer rampart.

For unknown reasons, this crater was omitted from early maps of the Moon. This crater is not of recent origin, however, so the omission was most likely an error on the part of the map-makers.

Satellite craters[edit]

Cassini and its satellite craters taken from Earth in 2012 at the University of Hertfordshire's Bayfordbury Observatory with the telescopes Meade LX200 14" and Lumenera Skynyx 2-1

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

Cassini Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 40.5° N 4.8° E 15 km
B 39.9° N 3.9° E 9 km
C 41.7° N 7.8° E 14 km
E 42.9° N 7.3° E 10 km
F 40.9° N 7.3° E 7 km
G 44.7° N 5.5° E 5 km
K 45.2° N 4.1° E 4 km
L 44.0° N 4.5° E 6 km
M 41.3° N 3.7° E 8 km
P 44.7° N 1.9° E 4 km
W 42.3° N 4.3° E 6 km
X 43.9° N 7.9° E 4 km
Y 41.9° N 2.2° E 3 km
Z 43.4° N 2.3° E 4 km

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cassini (lunar crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  • Andersson, L. E.; Whitaker, E. A. (1982). NASA Catalogue of Lunar Nomenclature. NASA RP-1097.
  • Bussey, B.; Spudis, P. (2004). The Clementine Atlas of the Moon. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81528-4.
  • Cocks, Elijah E.; Cocks, Josiah C. (1995). Who's Who on the Moon: A Biographical Dictionary of Lunar Nomenclature. Tudor Publishers. ISBN 978-0-936389-27-1.
  • McDowell, Jonathan (July 15, 2007). "Lunar Nomenclature". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  • Menzel, D. H.; Minnaert, M.; Levin, B.; Dollfus, A.; Bell, B. (1971). "Report on Lunar Nomenclature by the Working Group of Commission 17 of the IAU". Space Science Reviews. 12 (2): 136–186. Bibcode:1971SSRv...12..136M. doi:10.1007/BF00171763.
  • Moore, Patrick (2001). On the Moon. Sterling Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-304-35469-6.
  • Price, Fred W. (1988). The Moon Observer's Handbook. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-33500-3.
  • Rükl, Antonín (1990). Atlas of the Moon. Kalmbach Books. ISBN 978-0-913135-17-4.
  • Webb, Rev. T. W. (1962). Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes (6th revised ed.). Dover. ISBN 978-0-486-20917-3.
  • Whitaker, Ewen A. (1999). Mapping and Naming the Moon. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62248-6.
  • Wlasuk, Peter T. (2000). Observing the Moon. Springer. ISBN 978-1-85233-193-1.