More Jesuits On The Moon

Grimaldi CraterNear the western limb of the moon is a feature named for the Jesuit scientist Francesco Maria Grimaldi. Right, the basin is imaged from above by Lunar Orbiter 4 back in the 60’s. From the Earth, it appears as a dark oval on the left side of the moon.

Interesting that a low-lying figure would be named for a man whose astronomy interests with the moon involved measuring the heights of mountains. He can blame his Jesuit colleague Giovanni Battista Riccioli.

Fr Riccioli developed the system of naming craters. Ancient Greeks and Romans lent their names to craters north, east, and south on the moon. “Modern” scientists like Galileo, Tycho, and Copernicus–plus their lesser-known Jesuit colleagues–got craters in the west.

fyi, there is a crater named for the namer–smaller and less prominent than Grimaldi.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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