Friday, October 16, 2015

Moon: Plinius

Oblique view from Apollo 17 facing south, and showing both Plinius crater and Plinius Rilles
"Plinius crater AS17-M-1660" by James Stuby based on NASA image via Commons

Plinius Crater
Plinius is a prominent lunar impact crater on the border between Mare Serenitatis to the north and Mare Tranquilitatis to the south. South-southeast of Plinius is the crater Ross, and to the northeast is Dawes

Just to the north is a system of rilles named the Rimae Plinius. At the northwest edge of the rille is the Promontorium Archeruia, a cape off the western rim that encloses the Mare Serenitatis.

The sharp rim of Plinius is slightly oval in form, with a terraced inner wall, and an irregular outer rampart. It lacks a visible ray system. The crater floor is hilly, and in the middle is an irregular central peak that has the appearance of a double crater formation under certain angles of illumination. 

There is a cleft feature attached to the northern side of the peak. The eastern half of the floor is much more smooth and level than the hummocky west, and this section forms a crescent shape about the central peak.

Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23 – August 25, AD 79), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian.

Spending most of his spare time studying, writing or investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, he wrote an encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia, which became a model for all other encyclopedias. 

The Naturalis Historia is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available to Pliny. He claims to be the only Roman ever to have undertaken such a work. It encompasses the fields of botany, zoology, astronomy, geology and mineralogy as well as the exploitation of those resources. It remains a standard work for the Roman period and the advances in technology and understanding of natural phenomena at the time.

Pliny the Elder died on August 25, AD 79, whilst attempting to rescue Pomponianus (a friend of Pliny's) and his family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that had just destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Excerpts from Wiki texts have been incorporated into the blog as kinds of abstracts for reader's convenience. By clicking the links much more can be learned about these subjects.


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