Proclus (crater)

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Proclus crater AS17-150-23046.jpg
Apollo 17 image
Coordinates16°06′N 46°48′E / 16.1°N 46.8°E / 16.1; 46.8Coordinates: 16°06′N 46°48′E / 16.1°N 46.8°E / 16.1; 46.8
Diameter28 km
Depth2.4 km
Colongitude314° at sunrise
EponymProclus Diadochus
Proclus from Apollo 15. Note the prominent ray system. NASA photo.

Proclus is a young lunar impact crater located to the west of the Mare Crisium, on the east shore of the Palus Somni. It lies to the south of the prominent, terraced crater Macrobius, and about 115 km west-northwest of the lava-flooded Yerkes.


Proclus from Apollo 11, showing the rays extending into Mare Crisium

Its diameter is 28 km while its depth is 2,400 meters. The area is around 550 km² and the perimeter is over 85 km.

Oblique view of Proclus from Apollo 17, showing interior detail. The arrow points to a boulder that is about 200 m across.

The rim of Proclus is distinctly polygonal in shape, having the shape of a pentagon, and does not rise very far above the surrounding terrain. It has a high albedo, being second only to Aristarchus in brightness. The interior wall displays some slumping, and the floor is uneven with a few small rises from slump blocks.

The crater has a notable ray system that extends for a distance of over 600 kilometers. The rays display an asymmetry of form, with the most prominent being rays to the northwest, north-northeast, and northeast. There is an arc with no ejecta to the southwest. These features suggest an impact at a low angle. The rays indicate the crater is part of the Copernican System.[1]

Apollo landing site[edit]

A candidate landing site for the Apollo program was located about 100 km north-northeast of Proclus.[1][2] The site was rejected in favor of the geologically diverse Taurus-Littrow valley for the Apollo 17 mission.


The crater is named after Proclus, it was given its name by Giovanni Riccioli, whose 1651 nomenclature system has become standardized.[3][4] Earlier lunar cartographers had given the feature different names. Michael van Langren's 1645 map calls it "Pureani",[3][5] And Johannes Hevelius called it "Corax Mons" after the mountains of the ancient world.[3][6]

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 Proclus.

Proclus Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 13.4° N 42.3° E 15 km
C 12.9° N 43.6° E 10 km
D 17.5° N 41.0° E 13 km
E 16.6° N 40.9° E 12 km
G 12.7° N 42.7° E 33 km
J 17.1° N 44.0° E 6 km
K 16.5° N 46.2° E 16 km
L 17.1° N 46.4° E 9 km
M 16.4° N 45.2° E 8 km
P 15.3° N 48.7° E 30 km
R 15.8° N 45.5° E 28 km
S 15.7° N 47.9° E 18 km
T 15.4° N 46.7° E 21 km
U 15.2° N 48.0° E 13 km
V 14.8° N 48.3° E 19 km
W 17.5° N 46.2° E 7 km
X 17.7° N 45.1° E 6 km
Y 17.5° N 44.9° E 8 km
Z 17.9° N 44.7° E 6 km

The following craters have been renamed by the IAU.


  1. ^ a b Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report (NASA SP-289), Chapter 25, Part J, Preliminary geologic map of the region around the candidate Proclus Apollo landing site by Don E. Wilhelms, 1972
  2. ^ Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report (NASA SP-289), Chapter 25, Part K, Geologic sketch map of the candidate Proclus Apollo landing site by Baerbel Koesters Lucchitta, 1972
  3. ^ a b c Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  4. ^ Riccioli map of the Moon (1651)
  5. ^ Langrenus map of the Moon (1645)
  6. ^ Hevelius map of the Moon (1647)


  • Andersson, L. E.; Whitaker, E. A. (1982). NASA Catalogue of Lunar Nomenclature. NASA RP-1097.
  • Blue, Jennifer (July 25, 2007). "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature". USGS. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  • Bussey, B.; Spudis, P. (2004). The Clementine Atlas of the Moon. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81528-4.
  • Cocks, Elijah E.; Cocks, Josiah C. (1995). Who's Who on the Moon: A Biographical Dictionary of Lunar Nomenclature. Tudor Publishers. ISBN 978-0-936389-27-1.
  • McDowell, Jonathan (July 15, 2007). "Lunar Nomenclature". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  • Menzel, D. H.; Minnaert, M.; Levin, B.; Dollfus, A.; Bell, B. (1971). "Report on Lunar Nomenclature by the Working Group of Commission 17 of the IAU". Space Science Reviews. 12 (2): 136–186. Bibcode:1971SSRv...12..136M. doi:10.1007/BF00171763.
  • Moore, Patrick (2001). On the Moon. Sterling Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-304-35469-6.
  • Price, Fred W. (1988). The Moon Observer's Handbook. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-33500-3.
  • Rükl, Antonín (1990). Atlas of the Moon. Kalmbach Books. ISBN 978-0-913135-17-4.
  • Webb, Rev. T. W. (1962). Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes (6th revised ed.). Dover. ISBN 978-0-486-20917-3.
  • Whitaker, Ewen A. (1999). Mapping and Naming the Moon. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62248-6.
  • Wlasuk, Peter T. (2000). Observing the Moon. Springer. ISBN 978-1-85233-193-1.

External links[edit]