Saturday, October 11, 2008

Major landmarks on the moon


This article lists some of the more well-known and interesting landmarks on the moon.

The moon is the second brightest object in our nighttime sky. Our moon is also known as Luna and is our nearest neighbor. It takes 27 and 1/3 days for the moon to revolve around our planet. We first visited the moon in 1969. The trip to the moon and back takes approximately six days. The moon is highly visible to our naked eye and it appears to be white with patches of gray. The features of the moon were first viewed by Galileo in the 1600's. Since then, the features of the moon have been highly photographed and detailed. Each area has a name. There are mountains, basins, plains, craters, and seas. The word Mare means ""sea"", however there is no water on the moon. Here is a list of some of the major features on the moon's surface. If you live in the southern hemisphere keep in mind that you are viewing the moon from the opposite direction. This means that the directions in this list will be upside down from what you see.


Tycho: This crater is about 58 miles wide. It is considered a young crater even though it was made about a billion years ago as a result of a collision. This crater has a wide debris field. Tycho is located near the southern pole region.

Copernicus: This crater is also a young crater like Tycho. This crater is 56 miles in diameter. Copericus is located near the center of the near side of the moon. This crater, along with the Tycho crater, can easily be viewed with binoculars on a clear night.

Seas and Oceans

Oceanus Procellarum: This is also known as the Ocean of Storms. This area was thought to be an area of storm activity at one time. It is located in the moons western hemisphere and looks like a vast gray plain area. Surveyor 1, Surveyor 3, Luna 9, Luna 13, and Apollo 12 have all landed here.

Mare Imbrium: This is also known as the Sea of Rains. This is the largest basin area on the moon. It is also the second largest overall area on the moon's surface. It is located north central region of the moon.

Mare Crisium: This is also known as the Sea of Crises. This is the first feature of the moon to appear after a new moon. It is located on the mid-eastern edge of the near side of the moon.

Mare Tranquillitatis: This is also known as the Sea of Tranquility. This is a vast area in the northern hemisphere of the moon. This was the site of the first moon landing in 1969. The landing took place at Tranquility Base at the southern edge of the sea.

Mare Serenitatis: This is also known as the Sea of Serenity. This sea is located in the northeastern section of the moon. Serpentine Ridge is located to the east of this sea.

Mare Nubium: This is also known as the Sea of Clouds. This sea has a deep crater at its western edge. The areas surrounding this sea are some of the mostly heavily cratered areas on the moon.


Apennine Mountains: These mountains are named after the Apennine Mountains in Italy. They are located beside Mare Imbrium. On July 30, 1971 Apollo 15 landed here at Hadley Rille. These mountains go as high as 15,000 feet and are almost 500 feet long.

Haemus Mountains: This mountain chain is located along the southern shore of the Sea of Serenity. They are to the south of the Apennine Mountains.


Altai Scarp: This is a steep slope that was the result of an earthquake. This scarp is up to two and a half miles high in some spots. This landmark is located in the southern hemisphere near Mare Nectaris.

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