The week of January 17-23 takes us from Full Moon to Day 21. This week we will highlight the moon craters Geminus and Burckhardt, viewable on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

moderately complex 55-mile moon crater GeminusGeminus: [NE/F15] Roughly 200 miles north of Mare Crisium 1 you will find the moderately complex 55-mile crater Geminus. It has terraced walls and small central peaks. This will give you an indication of what to start looking for as craters become increasingly more complex.

burckhardt moon crater with the Mickey Mouse earsBurckhardt: [NE/F15; L=57°E] This is the moon crater with the “Mickey Mouse ears.” It is a remarkable exception to the rule that when one crater intrudes upon another, the younger crater (the intruder) is smaller. Burckhardt has landed smack in between two smaller but older craters, giving it the Mickey Mouse effect.


1 200 miles would be about three arc-minutes north of Crisium. Being familiar with the field of view (FOV) of your eyepieces will help you navigate.


It is highly recommended that you get a copy of Sky and Telescope’s Field Map of the Moon, the very finest Moon map available for use at the telescope. It is available for $10.95 at and on Amazon. All features mentioned in this blog will be keyed to the grid on the Field Map and will look like this: Plato: [NW/D9]

Courtesy of Gray Photography of Corpus Christi, Texas
Lunar photos: NASA / USGS / BMDO / LROC / ASU / DLR / LOLA / Moon Globe. Used by permission

Andrew Planck
Geminus and Burckhardt: Two Unique Moon Craters

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