Author Archives: Charles A. Wood

Full Moon

The Lunar 100

As the moon wanes in the gibbous phase in the nights to come, see if you can find and observe some of 100 of Charles Wood's classic lunar hit list, including craters, basins, mountains, rilles, and domes.

The Mysteries of Plato

The crater Plato is one of the superstars for observers of the Moon. It's big, conspicuous with its dark floor ringed by a bright rim, and long a subject of speculation, and controversy.

The craters Messier and Messier A

Messier on the Moon

Oblique impact resolves the mystery of one of the most bizarre crater pairs on the Moon: Messier and Messier A. Previous explanations for this crater pair ranged from imaginative to fantastical. All were wrong.

Mare Nectaris

Rings and Things

Mare Nectaris is the smallest of the circular maria on the Moon; lavas extend only 350 kilometers from shore to shore. But the Nectaris basin is beautifully defined by the spectacular Altai Scarp, which forms the southwestern rim of the basin.