Alphonsus (crater)

Alphonsus (LRO) 1.png
LRO image
Coordinates13°24′S 2°48′W / 13°24′S 2°48′W / -13.4; -2.8
Diameter119 km
Depth2.7 km
Colongitude4° at sunrise
EponymAlfonso X
Alphonsus crater appears in the right half of this image taken by Ranger 7. NASA photo.

Alphonsus is an ancient impact crater on the Moon that dates from the pre-Nectarian era.[1] It is located on the lunar highlands on the eastern end of Mare Nubium, west of the Imbrian Highlands, and slightly overlaps the crater Ptolemaeus to the north. To the southwest is the smaller Alpetragius and further south is the slightly smaller Arzachel. Together with Ptolemaeus and Arzachel, the crater form a prominent line of craters.


The surface of Alphonsus is broken and irregular along its boundary with Ptolemaeus. The outer walls are slightly distorted and possess a somewhat hexagonal form.

A low ridge system of deposited ejecta bisects the crater floor, and includes the steep central peak designated Alphonsus Alpha (α). This pyramid-shaped formation rises to a height of 1.5 km above the interior surface. It is not volcanic in origin, but rather is made of anorthosite like the lunar highlands.

The floor is fractured by an elaborate system of rilles and contains four or five smaller craters surrounded by a symmetric darker halo. These dark-halo craters are cinder cone-shaped and are believed by some to be volcanic in origin, although others think they were caused by impacts that excavated darker mare material from underneath the lighter lunar regolith.

Other Languages
español: Alphonsus
galego: Alphonsus
hrvatski: Alfons
Lëtzebuergesch: Alphonsus (Moundkrater)
slovenčina: Alphonsus
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Krater Alphonsus
suomi: Alphonsus