365 Days of the Moon -- August 03, 2014

Cruger, Billy, Byrgius, Lacus Autumni, Lacas Veris, and Mare Orientale

In the highlands along the Moon's southeastern limb, we find a number of interesting features tucked between Oceanus Procellarum and the limb of the Moon. What strikes me the most are the two “Plato wannabes”, dark floored Cruger (left) and Billy (right). The half-sized cousins of the famous black floored crater Plato were undoubtedly created the same way as Plato, by magma welling up through cracks in the lunar crust and filling the interior of two otherwise relatively normal craters. At at one time, both Cruger and Billy had a central peak, but these features were buried by the lava flood. To the south of Cruger is the relatively fresh rayed crater Byrgius A. I can find no reference to its geologic age, but since crater rays fade with time, the brilliance of the ray structure tells me Byrgius A must be one of the youngest large craters in the region, perhaps only 200 million years old. Mare Orientale can be seen peeking around the western horizon while the river-like streaks of basalt that make Lacas Veris and Lacus Autumni are seen close to the limb.

Image taken with a Celestron 8 and DMK-41 monochrome camera.

Image copyright Robert Reeves 2014

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