Featured Image - 01/29/2008
This is Apollo 15 metric camera frame AS15-M-0565, showing the Taurus-Littrow region of the Moon that was explored by Apollo 17 (Figure 1, below) This region gets its name in part from Littrow Crater, highlighted in Figure 2. Littrow crater (diameter: 30 km, depth 1.2 km) is located 45 km north-northeast of the Apollo 17 landing site in the southeast part of the Taurus mountains. Currently, it is believed that Littrow crater formed as an Imbrium-basin secondary crater. The floor of Littrow crater is smooth because its interior was filled by lava at some point in the past.
Littrow crater was named after Joseph Johann von Littrow (1781-1840). He was an Austrian astronomer who served as the director of the Vienna observatory from 1819 until his death in 1840 He is currently best-known for creating something now called the Littrow map projection.
Figure 1: Annotated version of Apollo metric mapping camera frame AS15-M-0565, with the relative positions of Littrow crater, Mare Serenitatis, and Taurus-Littrow Base (the Apollo 17 landing site) highlighted.
Figure 2: This is a close-up of Littrow crater from Apollo metric mapping camera frame AS15-M-0565. Note the relatively smooth floor of the crater, as well as the heavily eroded southern rim.