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Crater Kepler

Date: 30 June 2006
Satellite: SMART-1
Depicts: Crater Kepler
Copyright: ESA/Space-X (Space Exploration Institute)

Kepler is a small, young, lunar crater.  Despite being just 32 km in diameter the crater and its assocaited system of rays is visible from the Earth.

The crater (centred at 37.8° West, 9.0° North) is situated on the eastern edge of Oceanus Procellarum (the largerst such feature on the Moon) and the western edge of Mare Insularum (Sea of Islands).  On the eastern edge of the mare, about 20° east of Kepler is the large crater Copernicus.

The crater itself is 2.6 km deep and contains evidence for terracing and a central peak and is of similar age to the Lichtenberg crater, and the more widely known Copernicus and Tycho craters.  In common with these last two, Kepler also contains a series of bright rays stretching around 300 km from the crater.

The crater is named after Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) who empiracally derived three fundamental definitions of planetary motion based on data obtained by another observer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).

Parameter

Value

Date

13 January 2006

Distance

1613 - 1702 km

Longitude

37.8° W

Latitude

9.0° N

Resolution

146 - 154 m/pixel


Last Update: 25 August 2006

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

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