Malapert is a lunar crater that lies near the southern limb of the Moon. From the Earth this formation is viewed from the side, limiting the amount of detail that can be seen. The crater is also illuminated at very low angles, so that parts of the interior remain in almost constant darkness. The nearest craters of note are Cabeus to the west, and Shoemaker crater to the south-southeast and nearer to the south pole of the Moon.

The rim of Malapert forms an irregular ring of peaks around the interior floor. The western side of the rim is overlaid by what appear to be impact craters. There are also small craters overlaying the southeastern rim. Much of the interior and details of the rim remain hidden by shadows.

The southwestern part of the rim forms part of a 5-km-high rise in the surface that has been unofficially-designated Malapert Mountain. This ridge appears wider along a line running roughly east-west, although details of the back side are hidden by shadows. The peak of this ridge lies almost exactly along 0° longitude, and it has the unusual attribute of always lying within sight of the Earth, as well as the Shackleton crater at the south pole.

Due to the location of Malapert Mountain, it has been proposed as the site of a transmitter for an expedition to the south lunar pole. The back side of this ridge also lies within the radio shadow of the Earth, and it has been suggested as a site for a radio telescope because the radio noise from our planet would be blocked.

Satellite craters

By convention these features are identified on lunar maps by placing the letter on the side of the crater mid-point that is closest to Malapert crater.

Malapert Latitude Longitude Diameter
A 80.4° S 3.4° W 24 km
B 79.1° S 2.4° W 37 km
C 81.5° S 10.5° E 40 km
E 84.3° S 21.2° E 17 km
F 81.5° S 14.9° E 11 km
K 78.8° S 6.8° E 36 km


At a Space Resources Roundtable co-sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute a presentation by B.L. Cooper underscored the difficulty of imaging terrain illuminated by high-incidence-angle light. Nonetheless the images in his presentation show the Malapert Mountain area well.

See also


  • Burton L. Sharpe and David G. Schrunk "Malapert Mountain Revisited". Proceedings of Space 2002: The Eighth International Conference And Exposition On Engineering, Construction, Operations, And Business In Space, pp. 129-135.. .

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