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Walled plain on the Moon

Walled plain on the Moon

Part of an interconnected complex of three walled plains on the northeastern shores of Mare Cognitum, in the southwestern quadrant of the Moon's nearside face. Bonpland is the southwestern of the three plains, with the larger Fra Mauro lying to the north, and the smaller Parry to the east. All three features are ancient, with their walls all but lost around much of their circumference, but where the three meet (on Bonpland's northeastern edge) they form a trefoil of high ridges.

Like neighbouring Fra Mauro and Parry, the floor of Bonpland is formed from ancient lava flows, some sixty kilometres from edge to edge, crossed by a network of narrow clefts known as the Rimae Parry. Bonpland also possesses a scatter of associated satellite craters running out across the Moon's surface to the southwest of the plain itself.

Bonpland takes its name from Aimé Bonpland, a botanist most famous for accompanying Alexander von Humboldt on his journeys of exploration through South America. Perhaps surprisingly, Humboldt himself, though the more prominent scientist of the two, does not have crater named for him on the Moon. There is a crater named 'Humboldt' on the Moon's far southeastern limb, but this is named for the scientist's brother, philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt.


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