The Multi-Ringed Crisium Basin

Staring down the telescope eyepiece last night, I saw the terminator crossing Mare Crisium in such a way that all the main basin rings were visible. That only left the challenge of illustrating them in a sketch; not an easy thing when you consider the breadth of lunar landscape they cover and the amount of detail they include. So: from inner to outer here they are โ€“ can you spot them all?

1. The inner wrinkle ridge just inside and parallel to the Mare border (Dorsum Oppel).

2. The mountainous terrain of the mare border itself.

3. The Cleomedes ring. Cleomedes is the large terraced crater to the north of the Mare and partially in shadow. You can identify the high ground surrounding it by virtue of the low ground either side. To the south of the Mare this low ground is also visible in amongst the more jagged mountains.

4. The Geminus ring. Geminus is the large crater at the top of the drawing totally in shadow. A ring of slightly higher ground arcs right round the north of the mare, with a gap to the west, then rejoins as the mountains to the Mareโ€™s south.

The multiple rings of Crisium are quite obvious once you know they are there, so itโ€™s amazing how it took the Lunar Orbiter images of Mare Orientale to really focus the hunt for similar features on the lunar near-side. I drew this in about 40 minutes, finishing it quickly mainly because I was cold and tired. But I also find that forcing myself to sketch fast helps me to focus on observing the main features first and getting them down on paper.

Object name: Mare Crisium

Object type: lunar mare basin

Location: York, UK

Date: 23rd November 2010

Medium: graphite pencil on white paper.

Instrument: Skywatcher skyliner 152mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p.

Peter Mayhew

3 thoughts on “The Multi-Ringed Crisium Basin”

  1. Peter,

    Wonderful capture of the rings of M. Crisium.
    This view on the terminator is a tough one to sketch because of all the detail there. You have done a superb job with this sketch.

    Frank ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for your compliments Frank and sp. I’m nearly always disappointed with my drawings of the moon when I finish them, but they seem a lot better the next day!

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