Maupertuis (crater)

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Maupertius crater 4139 h3.jpg
Coordinates 49°36′N 27°18′W / 49.6°N 27.3°W / 49.6; -27.3Coordinates: 49°36′N 27°18′W / 49.6°N 27.3°W / 49.6; -27.3
Diameter 45 km
Depth 1.5 km
Colongitude 28° at sunrise
Eponym Pierre Louis Maupertuis

Maupertuis is the remnant of a lunar impact crater that is located in the northern part of the Moon's near side. It lies in the stretch of rugged terrain north of Sinus Iridum, a bay in the northwestern corner of Mare Imbrium. To the north lies the crater La Condamine, and Mare Frigoris and to the northwest is Bianchini.

This is a crater that has been nearly obliterated by a history of impacts, leaving only a disintegrated remnant of the original rim. The surviving outer rim is not especially circular, having been reshaped into a somewhat pentagonal outline. There are deep gouges from cratering along the northeastern rim. The interior floor is not in much better shape, being rough and irregular.

To the northeast of this crater is a system of rilles designated Rimae Maupertuis. These are considered to have formed through geological activity. Good eyesight and a large telescope are required to observe these rilles.

The crater was named for the French mathematician and astronomer Pierre Louis Maupertuis (1698–1759).[1]

Satellite craters[edit]

Maupertuis and its satellite craters

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

Maupertuis Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 50.6° N 24.7° W 14 km
B 51.3° N 26.7° W 6 km
C 50.2° N 24.0° W 11 km
K 49.3° N 25.0° W 6 km
L 51.3° N 29.2° W 6 km


  1. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D.; International Astronomical Union (2003). Dictionary of minor planet names. Berlin; New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 273. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 

Lunar crater references[edit]

External link[edit]

  • "Maupertuis". Gazeteer of Planetary Nomenclature. International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 12 September 2017.