Democritus (crater)

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Democritus crater 4092 h1.jpg
Coordinates62°18′N 35°00′E / 62.3°N 35.0°E / 62.3; 35.0Coordinates: 62°18′N 35°00′E / 62.3°N 35.0°E / 62.3; 35.0
Diameter39 km
Depth2.0 km
Colongitude325° at sunrise
Location of the crater Democritus
Oblique view from Lunar Orbiter 4
Oblique view also from Lunar Orbiter 4

Democritus is a lunar impact crater that is located on the northern part of the Moon, just to the north of the Mare Frigoris. Just to the south of Democritus is the lava-flooded crater Gärtner, which forms a bay on the mare. Directly to the north is Arnold, another flooded formation.


The rim of Democritus is generally sharp-edged and shows little sign of erosion. It forms not quite a circle, with outward notch-like bulges that give it a slightly irregular shape. The inner walls have single or double terraces that lead down to a relatively flat interior floor. Near the midpoint of the crater is a small central peak.


Democritus is named after the Greek philosopher of the same name. Like many of the craters on the Moon's near side, it was given its name by Giovanni Riccioli, whose 1651 nomenclature system has become standardized.[1] Earlier lunar cartographers had given the feature different names: Michael van Langren's 1645 map calls it "Alfonsi IX Reg. Cast." after Alfonso IX of León and Castile,[2] and Johannes Hevelius called it "Mons Bontas".[3]

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 Democritus.

Democritus Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 61.6° N 32.4° E 11 km
B 60.1° N 28.6° E 12 km
D 62.9° N 31.2° E 8 km
K 63.1° N 40.7° E 7 km
L 63.4° N 39.7° E 18 km
M 63.6° N 37.1° E 5 km
N 63.6° N 34.3° E 16 km


  1. ^ Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p.212.
  2. ^ Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 198.
  3. ^ Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 202.
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