Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2007 August 23
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Southern Moonscape
Credit & Copyright: Wes Higgins

Explanation: The Moon's south pole is near the top of this sharp telescopic view looking across the southern lunar highlands. Recorded on August 3rd from Tecumseh, Oklahoma, planet Earth, the foreshortened perspective heightens the impression of a dense field of craters and makes the craters themselves appear more oval shaped. The prominent crater in the foreground, Moretus, has a diameter of 114 kilometers and lies just west (left) of the Moon's central meridian. For large lunar craters, Moretus is young and features terraced inner walls and a 2.1 kilometer high, bright central peak, similar in appearance to the more northerly crater Tycho. Just to the right of Moretus is the 95 kilometer diameter crater Curtius. Curtius has older, rounded walls marked by smaller, more recent impact craters.

Tomorrow's picture: Jovian Moon

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