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Crater on the Moon

Crater on the Moon

The area around the Moon's southern pole is a highland region dense with craters, and one of these is a moderately sized example, some 79km in diameter, given the name Newton, lying a little to the southwest of Moretus, the largest crater in this part of the Moon. Because of its extreme southern location (it lies at lunar latitude 77° south) Newton crater is heavily foreshortened as seen from Earth, appearing as a narrow ellipse. In fact Newton is more nearly circular in form, but has a complex shape formed from several layers of craters.

The main formation is actually composed of three overlapping craters: the main crater Newton overlaps an older crater designated Newton G, and Newton itself is overlaid by a third crater, Newton D, that has obliterated much of its northeastern floor. The result is an elaborate stepped effect, with crater walls descending within each other for more than six kilometres, and forming one of the deepest depressions on the Moon's surface.

The crater Newton is named for Sir Isaac Newton, and it is not the only crater in the Solar System to carry the name of that prominent scientist. There is also a crater in the Electris region of Mars that carries the same name, which is some four times the diameter of the Newton crater on the Moon.


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