The week of December 18-24 takes us from Day 7 to Day 13. This week we will highlight Montes Apenninus, viewable on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Apennine Mountain Range on the moonMontes Apenninus: The Apennine Mountain Range [NW/G9] is the most spectacular feature on the Moon and was formed as a direct result of the impact that created the Imbrium basin nearly four billion years ago. Mountain ranges on the Earth take millions of years to form. The magnificent ranges that surround Mare Imbrium were created in a matter of minutes! They resulted from the shock waves that exploded out from the original Imbrium impact. The Apennines stretch out over 370 miles and include more than 3,000 peaks. The highest peak in this range is Mons Huygens which stretches, from its base to its top, to an incredible 18,000 feet (providing the best skiing in the solar system!)

Back off and scan the whole area for telltale formations that seem to radiate from the center of Imbrium (don’t forget to check the back side of the Apennines). These radial features resulted from debris that was blown out from the original impact.


Jupiter is 3 degrees south of the moon on December 22On Friday, Jupiter is 3° south of the 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
Montes Apenninus on the Moon

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