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Censorinus (crater)

Censorinus is a tiny lunar impact crater located on a rise to the southeast of the Mare Tranquillitatis. It is named after the ancient Roman writer Censorinus.[1] To the northeast is the crater Maskelyne.

Censorinus crater AS16-P-5276.jpg
Oblique view from Apollo 16 showing bright rays
Coordinates0°24′S 32°42′E / 0.4°S 32.7°E / -0.4; 32.7Coordinates: 0°24′S 32°42′E / 0.4°S 32.7°E / -0.4; 32.7
Diameter3.8 km
Depth0.4 km
Colongitude328° at sunrise
Apollo 11 image
Part of a Lunar Orbiter 5 image showing abundant boulders on the west rim of Censorinus.
Apollo 15 image

Censorinus is distinguished by an area of high-albedo material surrounding the rim. This makes the feature highly prominent when the Sun is at a high angle, and it is one of the brightest objects on the visible Moon. Bright streaks radiate away radially from the crater, and contrast with the darker lunar mare.

This formation has a sharp-edged, raised rim and a symmetrical, cup-shaped interior. Close-up photographs of this crater by Lunar Orbiter 5 show many large blocks lying along the sloping outer rampart. The surface near the crater is hummocky from the deposited ejecta. The crater is otherwise undistinguished.

The vicinity of Censorinus was once considered for an early Apollo landing site.[2]

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 Censorinus.

Censorinus Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 0.4° S 33.0° E 7 km
B 2.0° S 31.4° E 8 km
C 3.0° S 34.1° E 28 km
D 1.9° S 35.8° E 10 km
E 3.6° S 34.8° E 12 km
H 1.8° S 33.7° E 10 km
J 1.0° S 31.3° E 5 km
K 1.0° S 28.8° E 4 km
L 2.5° S 31.2° E 4 km
N 1.9° S 36.5° E 36 km
S 3.8° S 36.1° E 17 km
T 3.2° S 31.1° E 5 km
U 1.5° S 34.4° E 3 km
V 0.6° S 35.4° E 4 km
W 1.0° S 37.5° E 9 km
X 0.5° S 37.2° E 18 km
Z 3.7° S 36.8° E 12 km

The following craters have been renamed by the IAU.


  1. ^ "Censorinus (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ To a Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration. Don E. Wilhelms, University of Arizona Press (1993). ISBN 978-0816510658

External linksEdit

  • Lunar Photo of the Day, "Land of Manna", October 5, 2006, showing Censorinus, and Censorius C, noted as similar to Gaudibert crater