Fra Mauro (crater)

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Fra Mauro
Fra Mauro crater 4120 h3.jpg
Lunar Orbiter 4 image
Apollo 14 landing site is near center of top margin of image
Coordinates6°00′S 17°00′W / 6.0°S 17.0°W / -6.0; -17.0Coordinates: 6°00′S 17°00′W / 6.0°S 17.0°W / -6.0; -17.0
Diameter95 km
Colongitude17° at sunrise
EponymFra Mauro
Oblique view from Apollo 16

Fra Mauro is the worn remnant of a walled lunar plain. It is part of the surrounding Fra Mauro formation, being located to the northeast of Mare Cognitum and southeast of Mare Insularum. Attached to the southern rim are the co-joined craters Bonpland and Parry, which intrude into the formation forming inward-bulging walls. The crater is named after Italian geographer Fra Mauro.[1]


The surviving rim of Fra Mauro is heavily worn, with incisions from past impacts and openings in the north and east walls. The rim is the most prominent in the southeast, where it shares a wall with Parry. The remainder consists of little more than low, irregular ridges. The maximum elevation of the outer rim is 0.7 km.

Location of the lunar crater Fra Mauro

The floor of this formation has been covered by basaltic lava. This surface is almost divided by clefts running from the north and south rims. There is no central peak, although the tiny crater Fra Mauro E lies at almost the midpoint of the formation.

Apollo Missions[edit]

The area north of Fra Mauro crater was the intended landing site of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, which was aborted after an oxygen tank aboard the spacecraft exploded. The crew later returned safely to Earth. The next mission, Apollo 14, landed at Fra Mauro. The Apollo 14 crew (Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell) sampled breccia that had been deposited here by the Imbrium basin-forming impact, and which partly covers Fra Mauro. This rough debris blanket of ejecta is referred to as the "Fra Mauro 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 Fra Mauro.

Fra Mauro and its satellite craters
Fra Mauro Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 5.4° S 20.9° W 9 km
B 4.0° S 21.7° W 7 km
C 5.4° S 21.6° W 7 km
D 4.8° S 17.6° W 5 km
E 6.0° S 16.8° W 4 km
F 6.7° S 16.9° W 3 km
G 2.2° S 16.3° W 6 km
H 4.1° S 15.5° W 6 km
J 2.6° S 18.6° W 3 km
K 2.5° S 16.7° W 6 km
N 5.3° S 17.4° W 3 km
P 5.4° S 16.5° W 3 km
R 2.2° S 15.6° W 3 km
T 2.1° S 19.3° W 3 km
W 1.3° S 16.8° W 4 km
X 4.5° S 17.3° W 20 km
Y 4.1° S 16.7° W 4 km
Z 3.8° S 14.6° W 5 km


  1. ^ "Fra Mauro". Gazeteer of Planetary Nomenclature. International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 19 August 2017.

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