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Capella is a lunar impact crater 49 km (30 mi) in diameter that lies to the north of the Mare Nectaris, in a rugged region with many small impact craters. It was named after Roman astronomer Martianus Capella.[1] It intrudes slightly into the eastern rim of the crater Isidorus, a feature only slightly smaller in diameter.

Capella crater AS16-M-0426.jpg
Apollo 16 image
Coordinates7°36′S 34°54′E / 7.6°S 34.9°E / -7.6; 34.9Coordinates: 7°36′S 34°54′E / 7.6°S 34.9°E / -7.6; 34.9
Diameter49 km
Depth3,5 km
Colongitude325° at sunrise
EponymMartianus Capella
Oblique view facing west of Capella (below center) and Isidorus (above center). The large crater on the horizon is Theophilus. This shot was taken from the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Eagle.

The wall of Capella is low but relatively thick and irregular, with a large promontory intruding on the south-eastern side. The crater is crossed by a deep rift, the Vallis Capella, which passes directly through Capella from the north rim through the southeast side of the wall, and extends out both sides for a combined distance of 110 kilometers. This feature was formed by a chain of craters. In the middle of the crater is a wide, round peak with a craterlet at the top. The western side of the crater is dotted with impact debris, forming clusters of small hills.

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 Capella.

Capella Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 7.6° S 37.2° E 13 km
B 9.4° S 36.8° E 10 km
C 5.7° S 36.3° E 11 km
D 6.7° S 37.6° E 8 km
E 7.5° S 37.7° E 16 km
F 9.2° S 35.4° E 14 km
G 6.8° S 36.9° E 12 km
H 8.1° S 37.4° E 9 km
J 9.4° S 36.0° E 9 km
M 4.4° S 37.0° E 12 km
R 6.0° S 35.2° E 7 km
T 6.9° S 34.2° E 6 km


  1. ^ "Capella (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  • Andersson, L. E.; Whitaker, E. A. (1982). NASA Catalogue of Lunar Nomenclature. NASA RP-1097.
  • Bussey, B.; Spudis, P. (2004). The Clementine Atlas of the Moon. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81528-4.
  • Cocks, Elijah E.; Cocks, Josiah C. (1995). Who's Who on the Moon: A Biographical Dictionary of Lunar Nomenclature. Tudor Publishers. ISBN 978-0-936389-27-1.
  • McDowell, Jonathan (July 15, 2007). "Lunar Nomenclature". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  • Menzel, D. H.; Minnaert, M.; Levin, B.; Dollfus, A.; Bell, B. (1971). "Report on Lunar Nomenclature by the Working Group of Commission 17 of the IAU". Space Science Reviews. 12 (2): 136–186. Bibcode:1971SSRv...12..136M. doi:10.1007/BF00171763.
  • Moore, Patrick (2001). On the Moon. Sterling Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-304-35469-6.
  • Price, Fred W. (1988). The Moon Observer's Handbook. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-33500-3.
  • Rükl, Antonín (1990). Atlas of the Moon. Kalmbach Books. ISBN 978-0-913135-17-4.
  • Webb, Rev. T. W. (1962). Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes (6th revised ed.). Dover. ISBN 978-0-486-20917-3.
  • Whitaker, Ewen A. (1999). Mapping and Naming the Moon. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62248-6.
  • Wlasuk, Peter T. (2000). Observing the Moon. Springer. ISBN 978-1-85233-193-1.

External linksEdit

  • Lunar Photo of the Day, "Land of Manna", October 5, 2006, showing the region around Capella and discussing Capella Valley