Vallis Schröteri

Vallis Schröteri, a huge lava vent and rille system on the Aristarchus Plateau - January 2, 2015
Vallis Schröteri, a huge lava vent and rille system on the Aristarchus Plateau – January 2, 2015


find attached a charcoal and pastel sketch of Aristarchus, Herodotus and the famous Vallis Schröteri. I hope you like it.

Object Name: Vallis Schröteri, Aristarchus, Herodotus
Object Type: Lunar Valley and Crater
Location: Germany, Dusseldorf area
Date: 2015-01-02, 1800-1845 CET
Media: chalk pastel pencil and charcoal pencil on black sketching cardbox
Telescope: Martini 10” f/5 Dobsonian
Eyepiece: Skywatcher HR Planetary 5mm
Clear skies!


The Aristarchus Plateau

The Aristarchus Plateau, the lunar crater Aristarchus and environs - October 5, 2014
The Aristarchus Plateau, the lunar crater Aristarchus and environs – October 5, 2014

The Aristarchus Plateau, the lunar crater Aristarchus and environs – October 5, 2014[/caption]The Aristarchus plateau is one of the biggest and most spectacular volcanic regions in the Moon. With good seeing and the Moon high above the horizon, the region was impressive on October 5th, when it was near the terminator. Vallis Schröteri, the giantic lava channel meanders through the plateau starting from the famous Cobra Head vent, which is now mostly under shadow. The Aristarchus crater has a very bright wall with two dark bands; and to its north, Rupes Toscanelli stands out nicely. Finally, to the south of the plateau, the Herodotus Omega dome is easy to see, thanks to the oblique illumination.

Sketch: 2HB graphite pencil on white paper, scanned and processed with Photoshop CS3
Object Name: The Aristarchus Plateau
Location: Asturias, Spain
Date: October 5th, 2014 21:30-22:30 UT
Instrument: 120mm f/8.3 refractor + Barlow 2x + UWA 6,7mm (300x)
Observing report (in Spanish):
Best regards,
Diego González

Aristarchus, Herodotus and Schroter’s Valley

Aristarchus, Herodotus & Schroter's Valley
Aristarchus, Herodotus & Schroter's Valley

Objects names: lunar craters Aristarchus, Herodotus and Schroter’s Valley
Objects: Craters, sinuous rille and wrinkle ridges.
Location: Teulon, Manitoba, Canada
Date January 5th, 2012 (7:00-8:30 CST)
Media: Graphite pencils, ink pens and some digital scrubbing on highlights to get brightness adjusted. Original sketch on white paper approx 5″ x 8″

Objects viewed through Celestron Ultima 8 SCT with binoviewer around 250x with fairly good seeing. The individual peaks near the terminator were especially bright. What really struck me were the two wrinkle ridges at the top and bottom that seem to end in craters (but not quite) I had difficulty sketching the brightness range so used a little help from Iphoto to get the highlights back to how I saw them. Because of the amount of objects included, the sketch took longer than usual and some shadow lengths from one end of the sketch to the other would reflect the time difference. Just catching all the turns in Schroter’s Valley is very time consuming. As it was, I still couldn’t capture all that I saw. This was a most intimidating region to sketch.

Shattered Rim

Object Name (Valles Inghirami, Baade, Bouvard)
* Object Type (Lunar Valles)
* Location (York, UK)
* Date (18th January 2011)
* Media (graphite pencil, white paper)
Instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 152mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p, x2 Barlow.

What’s an astronomical sketcher to do at full moon? These are actually good times to catch rare details on the lunar limb, and here I have caught three of the valleys on the south-western limb of the moon close to the crater Inghirami, which in turn is just south-west of Schickard. These valleys are radial to the Orientale basin and created by the same impact. Vallis Inghirami is the easiest to spot by virtue of its proximity to the crater of the same name, whilst Bouvard is also striking by virtue of its greater elevation and length. Baade is harder to pick out because it’s behind Vallis Inghirami and mostly hidden behind its own rim. This dramatic landscape mirrors the cataclysmic event that must have created it about 3.5 billion years ago.

Aristarchus and Vallis Schroteri

Object Name: Aristarchus and Vallis Schroteri
Object Type: Lunar Crater
Location: Bristol, UK
Date: 18th Dec 2010
Media (graphite pencil sketch at the scope and then digitized using graphics tablet and Photoshop)

I usually sketch in some detail at the scope (mainly HB and 2B). I then scanned the result into Photoshop and use a Bamboo Pen graphics tablet to remaster the sketch. The final sketch was then “blurred” a touch to simulate the actual view which is never as sharp as I would like to see!)

Observational date: I use a Nexstar 8SE teamed with a Hyperion 8-24 mm zoom. Most of the sketch was at the 16mm stop with occassional use of Barlow and was drawn in moderate seeing conditions. The moon was 13 days old.
I could see the main circular formation with the hint of rays in SE. The crater had high walls although I could not see the terraces. The flat floor had a smallish central mountain. Herodotus was prominent to the W. Vallis Schroteri could be seen N of Herodotus by a craterlet called ‘the Head of Cobra’. The valley ran towards N then W.
Chris Lee

Aristarchus & Vallis Schröteri

Craters Aristarchus, Herodotus. Vallis Schröteri
Craters: Aristarchus, Herodotus. Vallis Schröteri
Sketch and Details by Aleksander Cieśla (Wimmer)

Objects: Moon 88% of full. Craters: Aristarchus, Herodotus. Vallis Schröteri
Date: February 25, 2010
Place: Poland, Wrocław
Equipment: Schmidt-Cassegrain 5″ with Sky-Watcher SWA-58 9mm + barlow 2x
Magnification: About 227x
Seeing: 2/5
Transparency: 2/5
Weather: Good. Light fog
Technique: Pastels on fine art paper
Observer: Aleksander Cieśla (Wimmer)

Shield of confusion

Aristarchus Plateau

The Aristarchus plateau
Sketch and Details by Peter Mayhew
Hover cursor over sketch to view labels.

A lovely bright day 12 moon hung in the southern sky just before and after sunset. The terminator was just to the west of the Aristarchus plateau. Having saved and saved this for sketching for months, I gave in and did it. The clouds kept rolling across the moon interrupting me; first low thick stuff, and later high foggy stuff. But by 9.30pm I had got most of the visible features on paper. It wasn’t the best night for seeing, but was tolerable. The plateau is a volcanic shield about 200km square, in the North West of the Ocean of Storms. It breaks all sorts of lunar records; the brightest crater (Aristarchus), the longest sinuous rille (Vallis Schroteri), the most coloured spot “Wood’s spot” (the shield itself). Aristarchus itself appears bright white, especially the area to the east. Surrounding the ejecta slopes is a dark melt band, and then rays can be seen extending east, north and south. The crater itself has a central hill and a dark band surrounding that, as well as darker bands on the western crater wall. North-East is the ghost crater Prinz. Herodotus is an older, flooded crater, which seems on initial inspection to be the source of Schroter’s valley; the view is deceptive because of the notch in its northern wall and the dark surrounding land. The valley itself is sufficiently broad to distinguish either wall, and winds first north, then west and finally south, narrowing as it goes. The north-west of the shield is guarded by the long mountain chain Montes Agricola. Mons Herodotus lies to its south. The western area near the terminator is crossed by wrinkle ridges. The area is so complex that it was a real struggle to take in all the detail that was there: for this reason I’ve dubbed it the “shield of confusion”. I suspect another visit with better seeing conditions will bring out new features.

The sketch was graphite pencil on white paper, done at the eyepiece. Instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 150mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p. plus x2 Barlow.

The Beacon of Oceanus Procellarum

The Beacon of Oceanus Procellarum

Lunar craters Aristarchus, Herodotus, Vallis Schröter
Sketch and Details by Tamás Ábrahám


here is a sketch about Crater Aristarchus and Herodotus with Vallis Schröter.
The seeing was poor on this evening but the transparency was acceptable.

Date: October 30, 2009
Equipment: 8 inch f/5 Newtonian reflector with 4 mm SW Planetary eyepiece
Location: Zsámbék, Hungary
Technique: white paper, black pencil

Tamás Ábrahám

The Cobra’s Head

Vallis Schroteri

Vallis Schroteri
Sketch by Serge Vieillard

Vallis Schröteri is the largest sinuous valley on the Moon. It makes its start at a 6 km diameter crater just north of Herodotus crater and widens to 10 km. This area is sometimes referred to as the Cobra’s head. It then winds 160 km and narrows to 500 m at it’s end. The rille is likely the result of volcanic activity as a lava flow carved its winding path through the landscape.

Light at the Junction of Fabricius and Janssen

Fabricius and Janssen

Fabricius and Janssen
Sketch and Commentary by Frank McCabe

On this evening of observing the young, spring, crescent moon just past nightfall, I was preparing to sketch crater Santbech when my eye was drawn to the terminator region of the Vallis Rheita and on south. Back in February of this year I caught this region at a time near sunset but this evening I was looking at an opportunity to capture an interesting crater rim illumination as long as I began drawing quickly. Along the terminator to the south of the valley is Nectarian crater Metius. This 90 kilometer cavity was completely in shadow except for its rim which was well displayed in morning light. Immediately south-southwest young 80 kilometer crater Fabricius was also displaying most of its rim. What captured my attention to this area initially was the way the light was illuminating the shared arcing walls between Fabricius and its neighbor Jannsen. The Jannsen component of this illuminated arc appears to be the centrally located slump block that dislodged at the time of the Fabricius forming impact (see: The Modern Moon by C. Wood page105). To the east of Pre-Nectarian crater Jannsen the paired craters Steinheil (70km.) and Watt (68km.) were putting on a show of their own. The shadows demonstrated the greater depth of Steinheil when compared to Watt. Finally on to the south along the terminator crater Rosenberger C at 48 kilometers marked the end of the large crater collection along the terminator in this sketch.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 8”x 11”, white and black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump. Brightness was slightly decreased (-4) and contrast increased (+5) after scanning using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 4-10-2008 0:30 – 2:00 UT
Temperature: 4°C (40°F)
high clouds, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 320.6°
Lunation: 3.9 days
Illumination: 20.4 %
Phase: 126.2°
Observing Location: +41°37′ +87° 47′

Frank McCabe

Raised, Tilted and polygonal

Aristarchus Plateau

The Aristarchus Plateau
By Frank McCabe

The Aristarchus Plateau
  The 3.6 billion year old Aristarchus plateau is a raised, tilted polygonal block
of crust in the ocean of storms with a collection of interesting features that can
be seen with telescopes of all sizes. Crater Aristarchus left of center is a large
(41 km.) 3.2 km. deep crater that is bright, young (500 million years old) and
sits near the SE edge of the plateau.  Lunar Prospector spacecraft back in 1998-99
detected radon gas being released from this region. The Space Telescope Science
Institute along with Northwestern University and others conducted an ultraviolet
and visible light analysis using the Hubble telescope to detect the presence of
titanium oxide near crater Aristarchus. This could be a potential source of oxygen
on the lunar surface and also a source of titanium metal.
   I remember well my disappointment when Apollo 18, 19 and 20 were cancelled in
1970. Apollo 18 was scheduled to land on the Aristarchus plateau near Schroter
valley. Schroter valley is an old Imbrium (3.5 billion years old) volcanic
feature that begins at the famous cobra head 25 km. north of ancient crater
Herodotus. This feature meanders north then west then southwest for more than 150
km. The bend is nearly 170 degrees. It is also large enough to be seen in a 2
inch telescope under conditions of good seeing.
  The region surrounding the beginning of Schroter valley was carefully imaged March
3rd and April 27th in 1994 by Clementine spacecraft because of reported color
changes. Clementine confirmed these changes were real. This region of the moon
shows color visible to some observers. It is described as reddish or yellowish by
those that can see this color.
  Don’t think of the moon as an annoyance that spoils galaxy hunting as some deep
sky enthusiasts sometimes do, but embrace it as the beautiful satellite it is,
awaiting observation and exploration.  
  Graphite pencil, pen and ink sketch on copy paper 8.5”x11”
  Date: 1-2-2007 1:50 to 3:45 UT
  Temperature: -1.2 °C (30° F)
  Calm, seeing good for this part of Illinois
  Antoniadi mostly IV briefly III
  13.1 inch f / 5.9 Dobsonian 6mm ortho ocular 327X
  Colongitude: 66.8°
  Lunation: 12.5 days
  Illumination: 97%

Of Blocky Origins

Vallis Rheita

The Region of Vallis Rheita
  Very early Sunday morning the moon was approaching the meridian about 35° above
the southeastern horizon when I decided to take a closer telescopic look and
select a sketching target. Prominently on display near the sunset terminator was
the famous 330 kilometer long Vallis Rheita. This valley formed as a by-product of
the secondary blocks thrown from the mare Nectarius basin forming event that
occurred 3.92 billion years ago. Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke
collected rock samples that included ejecta from the Nectarius event which
permitted the dating. A multitude of monstrous blocks heaved out from the initial
impact to the south created this less than regular catena. The valley lines up
nicely with the west central region of the Sea of Nectar accounting for this
  Adjacent to the northern end of Vallis Rheita and slightly younger in age is
crater Rheita, a 70 kilometer gouge with a low central peak and a fairly sharp
crest. Across the deep valley from Rheita to the southwest is 88 kilometer crater
Metius with its 4 kilometer high walls and small crater Rheita B east of a pair of
low ridges on the crater floor. This highland region of the moon is very old and
battered. It was showing some of its best features in the setting sun.

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 8”x 10”, white and
black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump. Brightness was slightly decreased
(-5) and contrast increased (+5) after scanning using Microsoft Office Picture

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 6mm eyepiece 241x
Date: 2-24-2008 0:10-1:00 UT
Temperature: -8°C (19°F)
clear, calm
Seeing:   Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 123.2°
Lunation: 17 days
Illumination: 90.1 %
Phase:   323.3°

Frank McCabe