Linné (crater)

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Linné crater moon.jpg
Lunar crater Linné from Apollo 15. NASA photo.
Coordinates27°42′N 11°48′E / 27.7°N 11.8°E / 27.7; 11.8Coordinates: 27°42′N 11°48′E / 27.7°N 11.8°E / 27.7; 11.8
Diameter2.4 km (1.5 miles)
Depth0.6 km (0.3 miles)
Colongitude348° at sunrise
EponymCarl von Linné

Linné is a small lunar impact crater located in the western Mare Serenitatis. It was named after Swedish botanist Carl von Linné.[1] The mare around this feature is virtually devoid of other features of interest. The nearest named crater is Banting to the east-southeast. The estimated age of this copernican crater is only a few tens of millions of years. It was earlier believed to have a bowl shape, but data [2] from the LRO showed that it has a shape of a flattened, inverted cone. The crater is surrounded by a blanket of ejecta formed during the original impact. This ejecta has a relatively high albedo, making the feature appear bright.

Learn what LRO has learned about Linne Crater in this video.

In 1824 Wilhelm Lohrmann (1786-1840) of Dresden had drawn Linné as an 8 km diameter crater in his acclaimed lunar atlas, and in 1837 Wilhelm Beer and Johann Heinrich Mädler had described Linne in Der Mond as a 10 km crater.[3] In 1866, the experienced lunar observer and mapmaker Johann Friedrich Julius Schmidt made the surprising claim that Linné had changed its appearance. Instead of a normal, somewhat deep crater it had become a mere white patch. A controversy arose that continued for many decades. However, this crater size tests the limit of visual perception of Earth-based telescopes. In conditions of poor seeing this feature can appear to vanish from sight [4] (see also transient lunar phenomenon).

Color coded shaded relief map of Linné crater

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 Linné.

Linné Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 28.9° N 14.4° E 4 km
B 30.5° N 14.2° E 5 km
D 28.7° N 17.1° E 5 km
F 32.3° N 13.9° E 5 km
G 35.9° N 13.3° E 5 km
H 33.7° N 13.8° E 3 km

The following craters have been renamed by the IAU.


  1. ^ "Linné (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ "Linne: Simple Lunar Mare crater geometry from LRO observations", 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2011)
  3. ^ David Leverington, Babylon to Voyager and Beyond: A History of Planetary Astronomy, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  4. ^ "The Linne' crater controversey [sic]", The Lunascan Project


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  • Wlasuk, Peter T. (2000). Observing the Moon. Springer. ISBN 978-1-85233-193-1.

External links[edit]