Clavius Crater and Craterlets


Step 1

Move mouse over image to view labels. Lettered craters are Clavius labels, unless otherwise noted.

Observation Notes:

The craterlet pattern in this larger crater is amazing. The floor of Clavius was smooth overall and shaded nicely from light to dark in the setting sunlight. A number of ravines ran north from Rutherfurd crater. Crater Clavius CB sat astride what appeared to be a smooth mound or dome. Besides Rutherfurd and Porter Craters, I spotted at least 32 craters on the floor of Clavius. The smallest was just east of Clavius N that turned out to be 3 km (2 miles) in diameter. I should note that I sketched Clavius JA about 2 times larger than I should have. It was actually smaller than Clavius J...I noticed that as I worked on the sketch, but didn't get around to correcting it.

I had good success sketching this on gray 110# index paper. It blends very nicely. I tried using a white pencil to shade in the brightest regions of the crater rims, but it didn't work well at all. So after scanning, I went back to those sections and used the dodge/burn tool to lighten the white-pencil regions further to get the effect I was after. I think I'm really going to have to try the white on black sketching technique demonstrated by Rich Handy.

EDIT SEP 03, 2009: Note that I have corrected the spelling of "Rutherford" to "Rutherfurd". The previous spelling was incorrect and is assigned to a crater on the far side of the moon. Apologies for the erroneous spelling. (jpp)


Clavius crater is the 3rd largest crater on the earth-facing side of the moon, and was originally formed very early in the history of the moon, during the Nectarian period about 4 billion years ago. It is most famous for its arc of craterlets that splay across its floor in order of descending size.

SubjectClavius Crater
PositionSouth Central
Phase/Age23 days old
Size*225 km diameter, 3500 m deep
Date/TimeAugust 27, 2005 - 3:00 AM (August 27, 2005 - 10:00 UT)
Observing Loc.Flagstaff, AZ - Home
InstrumentOrion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag.10 mm + 2X Barlow (240X)
ConditionsClear, calm, 47°F
SeeingAnt. III
SourcesThe Moon Observer's Guide By Peter Grego

* Based on published data.


Your Clavius sketch is amazing...very crisp and beautifully done! Great site you have here, too!

I am making a DVD on beginning chemistry. On the section on Rutherford I make mention of his crater on the moon. I am not an astronomer by clearly, the article on Rutherford's crater in Wikipedia was mistaken. (It said it was in the Mendeleev plain and on the far-side of the moon. I corrected that but could go no further)

It really needs someone who knows what they are talking about. Would you please take a look at it and make s few minor comments that correct the article.

Thank you.


Wes, thanks very much for your comment. I must apologize, it appears that I named the crater incorrectly, and didn't realize it until researching your comment. There is indeed a crater "Rutherford" on the far side of the moon. The crater I have drawn here within Clavius is actually spelled "Rutherfurd". So the information that was originally at that Wikipedia page appears to have been correct. I am not registered with Wikipedia, so I can't remove the edits there as far as I know.

Very best wishes on your DVD, and apologies for the erroneous spelling.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jeremy Perez published on August 27, 2005 3:00 AM.

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