King (crater)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
King AS16-M-0891.png
The lunar crater King from Apollo 16. NASA photo.
Coordinates 5°00′N 120°30′E / 5.0°N 120.5°E / 5.0; 120.5Coordinates: 5°00′N 120°30′E / 5.0°N 120.5°E / 5.0; 120.5
Diameter 76 km
Depth Unknown
Colongitude 241° at sunrise
Eponym Arthur S. King
Edward S. King

King is a prominent lunar impact crater that is located on the far side of the Moon, and can not be viewed directly from Earth. It forms a pair with Ibn Firnas, which is only slightly larger and is attached to the northeast rim of King. To the northwest is the crater Lobachevskiy, and Guyot is located an equal distance to the north-northwest.

The outer rim of King is roughly circular but with a slightly irregular appearance, particularly at the northern end. The crater displays little appearance of wear. The inner walls are terraced, particularly along the eastern side. Within the walls is a somewhat uneven interior floor. The interior is irregular and ridged, particularly in the eastern half. The elongated, Y-shaped central rise is part of a ridge that runs to the southern rim.

A tiny crater near the east-southeastern inner wall has been officially given the Indian feminine name Sita by the IAU. It is located at selenographic coordinates 4.6° N, 120.8° E, and has a diameter of 2 kilometres.

Due to its prominent rays, King is mapped as part of the Copernican System.[1]

Prior to naming in 1970 by the IAU,[2] this crater was known as Crater 211.[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 King.

King Latitude Longitude Diameter
J 3.2° N 121.8° E 14 km
Y 6.5° N 119.8° E 48 km

King Y is to the north of King, and it is now a "pool" of impact melt, filled at the time of the King impact. The name "Al-Tusi" had been suggested for King Y, but this was not approved by the IAU. King J is a small crater to the southeast of King, and it is covered by King's ejecta blanket.

Mountain Peaks[edit]

Normal King-Peaks AS16-M-2094 LTVT.jpg

Several mountain peaks (Montes) within King crater have been named. The names were approved by the IAU in 1976.

Mons Latitude Longitude Approximate Altitude[4]
Andre 5.18° N 120.56° E 7000 m
Ardeshir 5.03° N 121.04° E 5900 m
Dieter 5.00° N 120.30° E 8000 m
Dilip 5.58° N 120.87° E 5500 m
Ganau 4.79° N 120.59° E 7900 m



  1. ^ The geologic history of the Moon, 1987, Wilhelms, Don E.; with sections by McCauley, John F.; Trask, Newell J. USGS Professional Paper: 1348. Plate 11: Copernican System (online)
  2. ^ King, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)
  3. ^ Lunar Farside Chart (LFC-1A)
  4. ^ LTO65C1 King Lunar Topographic Orthophotomap, 1974

External links[edit]

King Crater's Unusual Melt Pond
King crater ejecta deposits
Anomalous mounds on the King crater floor
Fault scarp with impact melt in King crater
Making a Splash at King Crater