The week of December 12 – 18 takes us from Lunar Day 19 to Day 25. This week we will highlight the moon crater Maurolycus, located in the SE quadrant of the Field Map and viewable Tuesday evening around 11:00pm.

Maurolycus moon craterMaurolycus: [SE/P11; L=14°E] Let us venture briefly into a region where angels fear to tread, the lunar Highlands. Plunge in and look for the crater Maurolycus. Although the area looks confusing, Maurolycus will be the largest and most conspicuous crater in this sector. It is a breathtaking sight under an early morning Sun and should not be missed. Maurolycus displays a rich diversity of different types of features. How many can you see? The central mountain peaks are so tall that they are illuminated long before the Sun finds its way to the dark floor. Also notice how Maurolycus overlaps a smaller unnamed crater on its southern border. This flies in the face of the rule that says younger craters are usually smaller.


The Geminid meteors peak on Wednesday.


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
Maurolycus – Largest and Most Conspicuous Moon Crater in Lunar Highlands

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