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Hertzsprung (crater)

Hertzsprung is an enormous lunar impact crater, or impact basin, that is located on the far side of the Moon, beyond the western limb. In dimension, this formation is larger than several of the lunar mare areas on the near side. It lies in the northwestern fringe of the blast radius of the Mare Orientale impact basin. Nearby craters of note include Michelson across the northeast rim, Vavilov across the western rim, and Lucretius to the southeast.

Hertzsprung crater 5026 h3.jpg
Oblique Lunar Orbiter 5 image
Coordinates1°22′N 128°40′W / 1.37°N 128.66°W / 1.37; -128.66Coordinates: 1°22′N 128°40′W / 1.37°N 128.66°W / 1.37; -128.66
Diameter570 km (350 mi)[1]
Colongitude140° at sunrise
EponymEjnar Hertzsprung
Another view of Hertzsprung also from Lunar Orbiter 5

The outer rim of Hertzsprung has been damaged and modified by several notable impacts (mentioned above) and a number of smaller craters. A chain of small craters, designated Catena Lucretius, begins at the southeastern outer rim and proceeds toward the west-northwest until it connects with the perimeter of the inner basin. This inner area is less rough than the outer ring of the floor, and is surrounded by a circular range of ridges. The inner perimeter is also pierced by several craters, including Hertzsprung D along the eastern portion and Hertzsprung S on the western side. Nor is the interior of the inner basin free from impacts, including K, H, X, and L, listed in the table below.

At the center of the basin is a mass concentration (mascon), or gravitational high. The mascon was first identified by Doppler tracking of the Lunar Prospector spacecraft.[2]

The equator of the Moon passes through this formation, being located to the south of the midpoint and cutting through the central basin.

Satellite cratersEdit


  1. ^ Stockstill, K. R.; Spudis, P. D. (March 16–20, 1998). Geology and Deposits of the Hertzsprung Basin, Lunar Far Side (PDF). 29th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Houston, TX (published March 1998). Bibcode:1998LPI....29.1236S.
  2. ^ A. S. Konopliv; A. B. Binder; L. L. Hood; A. B. Kucinskas; W. L. Sjogren & J. G. Williams (1998). "Improved Gravity Field of the Moon from Lunar Prospector". Science. 281 (5382): 1476–1480. Bibcode:1998Sci...281.1476K. doi:10.1126/science.281.5382.1476. PMID 9727968.