Archimedes (crater)

Archimedes is a large lunar impact crater on the eastern edges of the Mare Imbrium. Its diameter is 81 km.[1]

Archimedes (LRO).png
LRO image
Coordinates39°42′N 4°12′W / 39.7°N 4.2°W / 39.7; -4.2Coordinates: 39°42′N 4°12′W / 39.7°N 4.2°W / 39.7; -4.2
Diameter81 km
Depth2.1 km
Colongitude4° at sunrise
Archimedes from Apollo 15. NASA photo.


The diameter of Archimedes is the largest of any crater on the Mare Imbrium. The rim has a significant outer rampart brightened with ejecta and the upper portion of a terraced inner wall, but lacks the ray system associated with younger craters. A triangular promontory extends 30 kilometers from the southeast of the rim.

The interior of the crater lacks a central peak, and is flooded with lava. It is devoid of significant raised features, although there are a few tiny meteor craters near the rim. Scattered wisps of bright ray material lie across the floor, most likely deposited by the impact that created Autolycus.

Lunar crater Archimedes in the infrared. Image courtesy of NOT and SO: M. Gålfalk, G. Olofsson, and H.-G. Florén, taken with the SIRCA camera.


To the south of Archimedes extends the Montes Archimedes, a mountainous region. On the southeastern rim is the Palus Putredinis, a lava-flooded plain containing a system of rilles named the Rimae Archimedes, which extends over 150 kilometers. North-northwest of Archimedes stand the Montes Spitzbergen, a string of peaks in the Mare Imbrium. East of Archimedes is the crater Autolycus. Northeast of Archimedes is the prominent crater Aristillus. The lava plain between Archimedes, Aristillus, and Autolycus forms the Sinus Lunicus bay of Mare Imbrium. A wrinkle ridge leads away from Archimedes toward the north-northwest, crossing this mare.


Archimedes is named after the Greek scientist Archimedes.[1] Like many of the craters on the Moon's near side, it was given its name by Giovanni Riccioli, whose 1651 nomenclature system has become standardized.[2] Earlier lunar cartographers had given the feature different names. Michael van Langren's 1645 map calls it "Roma" after the city of Rome.[3] Johannes Hevelius called it "Mons Argentarius" after Monte Argentario region in Italy.[4]


The stretch of lunar surface between Archimedes and Autolycus was the site of the crash-landing of the Soviet probe Luna 2. This was the first craft to reach the surface of the Moon, landing September 13, 1959.[5]

Satellite cratersEdit

By convention these features are identified on lunar maps by placing the letter on the side of the crater midpoint that is closest to Archimedes.

Archimedes Latitude Longitude Diameter
C 31.6° N 1.5° W 8 km
D 32.2° N 2.6° W 5 km
E 25.0° N 7.2° W 3 km
G 29.1° N 8.2° W 3 km
H 23.9° N 7.0° W 4 km
L 25.0° N 2.6° W 4 km
M 26.1° N 3.2° W 3 km
N 24.1° N 3.9° W 3 km
P 25.9° N 2.5° W 3 km
Q 28.5° N 2.4° W 3 km
R 26.0° N 6.6° W 4 km
S 29.5° N 2.7° W 3 km
T 30.3° N 5.0° W 3 km
U 32.8° N 1.9° W 3 km
V 32.9° N 4.0° W 3 km
W 23.8° N 6.2° W 4 km
X 31.0° N 8.0° W 2 km
Y 29.9° N 9.5° W 2 km
Z 26.8° N 1.4° W 2 km

The following craters have been renamed by the IAU.



  1. ^ a b "Archimedes (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p.213.
  3. ^ Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 198.
  4. ^ Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 202.
  5. ^ Wilhelms, Don (1987). "1. General Features" (PDF). Geologic History of the Moon. US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1348. United States Geological Survey. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2006. Retrieved 2017-02-22.

External linksEdit