Hyginus (crater)

Coordinates: 7°48′N 6°18′E / 7.8°N 6.3°E / 7.8; 6.3
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates7°48′N 6°18′E / 7.8°N 6.3°E / 7.8; 6.3
Diameter11 km
Depth0.8 km
Colongitude354° at sunrise
EponymC. Julius Hyginus

Hyginus is a lunar caldera located at the east end of the Sinus Medii. It was named after ancient Roman astronomer Gaius Julius Hyginus.[1] Its rim is split by a 220 kilometer-long rille, Rima Hyginus, that branches to the northwest and to the east-southeast. The crater is deeper than the rille, and lies at intersection of the rille's branches. Together, the crater and the rille form a prominent feature in an otherwise flat surface. Smaller craters along the length of the rille may have been caused by the collapse of an underlying structure.[citation needed]

Hyginus is one of the few craters on the Moon that was not created as a result of an impact, and is instead believed to be volcanic in origin. It lacks the raised outer rim that is typical with impact craters.[citation needed]

Hyginus was considered a possible landing site during the Apollo Program, because it was thought to be a site of potentially active volcanism.[2] The landing point would have been northwest of the crater, within a few kilometers of the main crater rim and the rille to the west. Major objectives would have included examining and sampling the Cayley Formation and dark overlying rocks, the crater rim and floor, and other possible volcanic features in the area.[3]

It was near Hyginus that in 1878 Hermann Klein claimed to have discovered a new crater.[4]


Satellite craters[edit]

By convention these features are identified on lunar maps by placing the letter on the side of the crater midpoint that is closest to Hyginus.

Hyginus Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 6.3° N 5.7° E 8 km
B 7.6° N 5.1° E 6 km
C 7.7° N 8.3° E 5 km
D 11.4° N 4.3° E 5 km
E 8.7° N 8.5° E 4 km
F 8.0° N 8.6° E 4 km
G 11.0° N 6.0° E 4 km
H 6.0° N 7.0° E 4 km
N 10.5° N 7.4° E 11 km
S 6.4° N 8.0° E 29 km
W 9.7° N 7.7° E 22 km
Z 8.0° N 9.5° E 28 km


  1. ^ "Hyginus (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ To a Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration. Don E. Wilhelms, University of Arizona Press (1993), Chapter 10. ISBN 978-0816510658
  3. ^ El-Baz, Farouk, 1968. Geologoic Characteristics of the Nine Lunar Landing Mission Sites Recommended by the Group for Lunar Exploration Planing. Bellcomm, Inc. TR-68-340-1.
  4. ^ Klein, Hermann (1878). "1878AReg...16..265K Page 265". Astronomical Register. 16: 265. Bibcode:1878AReg...16..265K. Retrieved 2022-07-21.

External links[edit]