crater Plinius and the Apollo 11 siteThe week of February 4 – 10 takes us from New Moon to Day 5. This week we will highlight the crater Plinius and the Apollo 11 site, visible on Sunday evening.

Plinius: [NE/H12] Standing sentinel between Tranquillity and Serenity is the crater Plinius, a fine object with a sharp rim, terraces, an ejecta blanket, and a central projection which, depending on the illumination, has been described variously as a mountain, a double-mountain, central craters, or low mounds. How does it strike you?

Plinius rilles on the moonImmediately to the north of Plinius are three prominent rilles (Rimae Plinius), which follow along the edge of the Serenity basin. The lava that filled Serenity was so heavy that it not only affected Posidonius and le Monnier [NE/F-G13], causing substantial sub-sidence, but over 200 miles away significant cracks opened up near Plinius.

Although the lavas covering Serenity have a brighter hue, can you see that the lava plains of Mare Tranquillitatis are darker and older? The coloring becomes suddenly lighter just north of Plinius.

Apollo 11 landing site on the moonCan you see the American flag on the moonApollo 11: [NE/J12] The best time to see the Apollo 11 landing site is around Day 5 (Sunday evening), or 4-5 days after full Moon. You will find the landing site just east of the crater Sabine. In the close-by neighborhood are three tiny craters named for the astronauts of Apollo 11: Aldrin, Collins, and Armstrong. These craters can be used to test your telescope optics and the seeing conditions. From west to east, the crater diameters are: Aldrin (2.1 miles), Collins (1.5 miles) and Armstrong (2.9 miles).



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

Andrew Planck

Author and Astronomer Andrew Planck shepherds you to the moon and its mysteries of intrigue and surprise. Learn about the moon’s most fascinating objects, understand how the moon was formed and the names of many of the craters … and why they honor individuals who have changed the course of history.
Andrew Planck

Moon Crater Plinius and the Apollo 11 Landing Site
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