- This is an image Moon map with labels.
The lunar phase is
or, maybe, waxing gibbous moon
just before full moon.
- The near side of the Moon is
the only one we see from Earth.
- The near side
is actually the most interesting side to look at and probably for
lunar geology because of the large
maria (singular mare).
Maria means "seas" in
The early telescopic observers of the
17th century thought
the maria might be seas.
They soon realized this was wrong.
However, the name is still appropriate since the
i.e., the frozen seas of lava
from lava flows welling up from the
interior of the young maria formed
3.5--3 Gyr ago though some might be have formed as recently as 1.2 Gyr ago
(see Wikipedia: Lunar mare: Ages).
The far side of the Moon
has only small maria and looks rather bland
and uninteresting compared to the
The maria actually cover only
∼ 16 % of the
lunar surface, but
they look more extensive to
Earthlings just because
they cover ∼ 30 % of the
(see Wikipedia: Lunar Mare).
- The part of the
which is NOT
is the lunar highlands.
It is the early surface of the
and is much more heavily cratered than the
This is because the
were subjected to the
in the early Solar System
(4.6--3.8 Gyr ago), whereas the
maria formed mostly later.
The heavy bombardment
was due to the fact that the
had far more bodies then than now
that were mostly
lost through impact events
or ejection from
the Solar System
by gravitational assists.
- The Moon has the orientation it would have
on the celestial sphere with
equatorial coordinate system
north at the top,
south at the bottom,
east at the left,
and west at the right.
This is the conventional orientation for modern images and maps of the
Mare Tranquillitatis (AKA Sea of Tranquility)
is west of the north-south line at about mid
The first crewed landing on the
Moon occured there with
The landing crew consisted of
Neil Armstrong (1930--2012) and
Buzz Aldrin (1930--).
The third crew person
Michael Collins (1930--)
stayed in lunar orbit.
- The obvious lunar crater
in the south is Tycho---which is the
one lunar crater most people remember.
is the most obvious rayed crater---it has
large radial rays emanating from it that are fallback from giant plumes that were ejected when
the Tycho impactor impacted.
The rays indicate that Tycho is relatively young
The rays of impact craters are erased
by space weathering over
gigayear time scales.
Tycho is estimated to be 108 Myr old
(see Wikipedia: Tycho:
Age and Description).
- The names of the large features were given long ago before 1881
anyway: see Map of the Moon,
Andrees Allgemeiner Handatlas, 1st Edition, Leipzig (Germany) 1881, p. 4,
but note that the south is at the top in that map.
- Labeled Moon features:
For more Moon features, see
Wikipedia: List of lunar craters,
Wikipedia: List of lunar features,
Wikipedia: List of lunar maria,
Wikipedia: List of lunar mountains and mountain ranges.
- Yours truly's favorite
lunar mare is
Mare Imbrium---it's big, it's round,
it's flanked by those five great
(not labeled on the image, but on the
selenographic southeast edge
of Mare Imbrium),
(not labeled on the image, but on
selenographic east edge of
named for Autolycus of Pitane (360?--290? BCE)
and NOT for the grandfather
Autolycus (Wolf-Himself, Very-Wolf)),