Gallery of Digital Astrophotography Back | Up | Next
The Aristarchus Plateau

The Aristarchus Plateau is a fascinating area of the lunar surface that is located in the northwest quadrant of the Moon between Oceanus Procellarum and Mare Imbrium.

Aristarchus is the large crater at lower left. It is the brightest crater on the Moon, being nearly twice as bright as most other features on the lunar surface. It is estimated to be relatively young at 450 million years old. It has a diameter of about 25 miles (40 kilometers) and is 2.2 miles (3.6 km) deep.

It was named after Aristarchus of Samos, a famous Greek astronomer and mathematician who lived from about 310 BCE to 230 BCE and was the first to put forth a model of the solar system with the Sun at its center, a theory that was rejected until the Copernican revolution in the 1500's AD.

Schröter's Valley (Vallis Schröteri) winds through the left center of the image and the Aristarchus Rilles are seen at lower right.

Schröter's Valley is the largest sinuous rille on the Moon and is believed to be volcanic in origin. It is named for Johannes H. Schröter who discovered it in 1787, and was supposed to be the landing site for the canceled Apollo 18 mission. It is also the location of many reports of lunar transient phenomena. The valley is 100 miles (160 kilometers) in length and its width varies from 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) to 0.6 miles (1 kilometer).

Just above and to the left of Aristarchus is the crater Herodotus. The crater Keieger is at lower right with Wollaston to its upper right.

Montes Agricola is at top right.

Exposure Data
  • Lens: 11 inch Aplanatic Schmidt Cassegrain
  • Focal Length: 5,588 mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/20 with 2x Barlow
  • Exposure: 1/60th second
  • ISO: 3200
  • Filter: None
  • Mount: Takahashi EM200 Temma 2M
  • Camera: Modified Canon EOS 550Da (T2i) DSLR
  • Mode: Video: 640x480 Movie Crop Mode at 60 fps
  • White Balance: Custom Daylight
  • Location: Voorhees, NJ
  • Date: May 22, 2013
  • Time: 12:01 a.m. EDT
  • Processing: Best 5 percent of 10,917 frames stacked in AutoStakkert! 2

Back | Up | Next