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Copernicus through the Lowell 24" Clark

© 2014 Klaus Brasch






The following was retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernicus_(lunar_crater) on March 1, 2014

Copernicus

"Copernicus is a lunar impact crater named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, located in eastern Oceanus Procellarum. It is estimated to be about 800 million years old, and typifies craters that formed during the Copernican period in that it has a prominent ray system.

Copernicus is visible using binoculars, and is located slightly northwest of the center of the Moon's Earth-facing hemisphere. South of the crater is the Mare Insularum, and to the south-south west is the crater Reinhold. North of Copernicus are the Montes Carpatus, which lie at the south edge of Mare Imbrium. West of Copernicus is a group of dispersed lunar hills. Due to its relative youth, the crater has remained in a relatively pristine shape since it formed.

The circular rim has a discernible hexagonal form, with a terraced inner wall and a 30 km wide, sloping rampart that descends nearly a kilometer to the surrounding mare. There are three distinct terraces visible, and arc-shaped landslides due to slumping of the inner wall as the crater debris subsided.

Most likely due to its recent formation, the crater floor has not been flooded by lava. The terrain along the bottom is hilly in the southern half while the north is relatively smooth. The central peaks consist of three isolated mountainous rises climbing as high as 1.2 km above the floor. These peaks are separated from each other by valleys, and they form a rough line along an east-west axis. Infrared observations of these peaks during the 1980s determined that they were primarily composed of the mafic form of olivine."

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