Steinheil (crater)

Steinheil is a lunar impact crater that is located in the rugged highlands in the southeastern part of the Moon. It was named after German astronomer and physicist Carl August von Steinheil.[1] It forms a prominent crater pair with the similar-sized Watt, which it partly overlies to the southeast. To the northwest is the large walled plain Janssen. Due to the location of this crater, it appears foreshortened when viewed from the Earth.[2] It is from the Nectarian period, 3.92 to 3.85 billion years ago.[3]

Steinheil crater Watt crater 4071 h1 h2.jpg
Lunar Orbiter 4 image, with Steinheil at top and Watt below
Coordinates48°36′S 46°30′E / 48.6°S 46.5°E / -48.6; 46.5Coordinates: 48°36′S 46°30′E / 48.6°S 46.5°E / -48.6; 46.5
Diameter67 km
Depth3.0 km
Colongitude315° at sunrise
EponymCarl August von Steinheil

This is a relatively circular crater that has undergone some light erosion from subsequent impacts. The inner wall is wider along the southwestern rim than elsewhere, and there is a slight outward bulge in the western rim. There are a few tiny craterlets along the rim and inner wall, the most notable being a crater at the base of the inner northeast rim. The interior floor is level, with no central peak and only a few minor craterlets.[3]

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 Steinheil.[4]

Steinheil Latitude Longitude Diameter
E 44.9° S 47.6° E 16 km
F 45.3° S 48.4° E 21 km
G 45.6° S 49.9° E 19 km
H 45.7° S 46.9° E 20 km
K 48.6° S 51.9° E 5 km
X 47.6° S 45.8° E 17 km
Y 47.3° S 45.1° E 16 km
Z 46.4° S 45.4° E 23 km


  1. ^ "Steinheil (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ Rükl, Antonín (1990). Atlas of the Moon. Kalmbach Books. ISBN 0-913135-17-8.
  3. ^ a b Autostar Suite Astronomer Edition. CD-ROM. Meade, April 2006.
  4. ^ Bussey, B.; Spudis, P. (2004). The Clementine Atlas of the Moon. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-81528-2.