Maurolycus will be the largest and most conspicuous crater in the lunar HighlandsThe week of March 30 – April 5 takes us from Lunar Day 6 to Day 12. This week we will highlight the crater Maurolycus, viewable on Monday & Tuesday nights.

Maurolycus: [SE/P11] 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 on the moon displays a rich diversity of different types of features on its surfaceMaurolycus 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 than their older brethren.


On Friday evening, Venus will be touching the left edge of the Pleiades and will be shining at a brilliant magnitude -4.4. It is so bright that, if you know where to look, you should be able to see it with your naked eye during the day. (Block out the sun with the edge of a building.) Through a telescope, it will look like a half moon.


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 – The Largest and Most Conspicuous Moon Crater in the Lunar Highlands
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