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Places on the Moon: The Apennines Mountain Range

The Moon's Apennines Range

Apennines Mountain Range Narrative

When on thinks of the Moon hiking is not often something that comes to mind.  However, when I look at the Moon with my Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope the mountain ranges I see on the Moon do make me wonder what it would be like to one day hike the high peaks of the Moon?

The Moon has no where near as many mountain ranges as on Earth, but one of its most noticeable is the Apennines Range.  This mountain range is located on the Moon’s northern hemisphere and is 370 miles long.  When looking through a telescope the mountains are easy to spot because one end of the range is where the very large Eratosthenes Crater is located.  This crater is an incredible 36 miles wide.  Here is a closer look at the crater from my telescope:

Eratosthenes Crater

A closer look at the mountains shows how they are basically large round hills:

Apennines Range

Many Americans may not realize it, but they may have already have seen the Moon’s Apennines Range because one of its valleys was the landing site for the Apollo 15 mission.  Many of the pictures from this Moon mission show the foothills from the Apennines Range in the background.

Jim Irwin with the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the first lunar surface EVA of Apollo 15. Image via Wikipedia.

Here is another picture from Apollo 15 that shows another foothill of the Apennines Range:

James Irwin salutes the United States flag on the Moon on August 1, 1971. Image via Wikipedia.

The above picture is a perfect example of how the Apennines are large round mountains.  They almost appear to be an entire range composed of mountains that look like Colorado’s Mt. Bross.  If someone does ascend one of the peaks one day they would be following in the footsteps of the Apollo 15 crew which used their lunar rover to drive up some of the lower hills near the landing site:

Dave Scott bent over the rock at Station 2. In the foreground is the 6-meter crater. Via Wikipedia.

Until space travel becomes more affordable and a Moon base is established it appears that the closest I will get to the Moon’s mountains will be through my telescope which is good enough for now.  However, I hope I live long enough to see the first “peakbagger” on the Moon.

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