September 4, 2022

Sundays in Space: See the Mare Imbrium Mountains on the Moon TONIGHT

Mary Apel

An image of the moon shows the location of the Mare Imbrium basin. The mountain range that marks the northern rim of the basin will be visible from Earth on Sunday. (Image credit: Srbauer/NASA/Robert Lea)

On Sunday skywatchers can view the Mare Imbrium mountains, a spectacular mountain chain on the moon marking the edge of an ancient impact site.

Mare, plural maria, refers to any flat, dark plain of lower elevation on the Moon. The word means “sea” in Latin, and sky-watchers in the 1600’s would look through telescopes at the moon’s surface to these sea-like features. In actuality, tells us that maria are huge basins containing lava. They are marked by craters, ridges, faults, and valleys called rilles, and are totally devoid of water.

There are about 20 major areas of this type, the largest of which are located on the side of the Moon that always faces Earth. Maria are the largest topographic features on the Moon and can be seen with the naked eye.

The Mare Imbrium is the largest basin on the near side of the moon with a diameter of approximately 721 miles.

It will be visible with binoculars or a telescope, and possibly the naked eye, TONIGHT! September 4, 2022, will be the best viewing of these craters.

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