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Giordano Bruno (crater)

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Giordano BrunoGiordano Bruno. NASA photoCoordinates35°54′N 102°48′E / 35.9°N 102.8°ECoordinates: 35°54′N 102°48′E / 35.9°N 102.8°EDiameter22.13 kmDepthUnknownColongitude258° at sunriseEponymGiordano Bruno LRO mosaic

Giordano Bruno is a 22-kilometre (14 mi) lunar impact crater on the far side of the Moon, just beyond the northeastern limb. It lies in an area that can be viewed during a favorable libration, although the area is viewed from the side and not much detail can be seen. It lies between the craters Harkhebi to the northwest and Szilard to the southeast.[1]

When viewed from orbit, Giordano Bruno is at the center of a symmetrical ray system of ejecta that has a higher albedo than the surrounding surface. The ray material extends for over 150 kilometres (93 mi) and has not been significantly darkened by space erosion. Some of the ejecta appear to extend as far as the crater Boss, over 300 kilometres (190 mi) to the northwest. The outer rim of the crater is especially bright compared to its surroundings. To all appearances, this is a young formation that was created in the relatively recent past, geologically speaking. Based on photos from a lunar orbiter, the crater’s age has been estimated at 4 million years.[2]

This feature was named after Italian intellectual Giordano Bruno.


Oblique view from Apollo 11 showing the extent of the rays. Mare Marginis is in the right foreground.
Oblique view from Apollo 16

Five monks from Canterbury reported to the abbey’s chronicler, Gervase, that shortly after sunset on 18 June 1178, (25 June on the proleptic Gregorian calendar) they saw “the upper horn [of the moon] split in two”. Furthermore, Gervase writes:

From the midpoint of the division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the Moon which was below writhed, as it were in anxiety, and to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the Moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then, after these transformations, the Moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance.[3]

In 1976, the geologist Jack B. Hartung proposed that this described the formation of the crater Giordano Bruno.[4]

Modern theories predict that a (conjectural) asteroid or comet impact on the Moon would create a plume of ejecta rising up from the surface, which is consistent with the monks’ description.[5] The impact would be expected to perturb the Moon’s motions, and laser rangefinding measurements of its libration in longitude were judged to be of the expected magnitude for such an event.[5] In addition, the location recorded fits in well with the crater’s location. Additional evidence of Giordano Bruno’s youth is its spectacular ray system. The ratio of the length of these rays to the diameter of the crater is the largest for a large crater on the moon, suggesting it is the youngest such crater.[4] Because micrometeorites constantly rain down, they kick up enough dust to quickly (in geological terms) erode a ray system.[5]

However, these observations do not resolve the question of the crater’s age. The expected odds of formation of a lunar crater of that size in the last 3,000 years are on the order of 0.1%.[4] The impact creating the 22-km-wide crater would have kicked up 10 million tonnes (10 billion kilograms) of debris, triggering a week-long, blizzard-like meteor storm on Earth – yet no accounts of such a noteworthy storm of unprecedented intensity are found in any known historical records, including the European, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean astronomical archives.[6] This discrepancy is a major objection to the theory that Giordano Bruno was formed at that time.[7] Also, much older craters, e.g., Tycho at 108 million years and Copernicus at an estimated 800 million years, still have prominent ray systems.

High-resolution images obtained by the Japanese satellite SELENE in 2008 were used to date the crater by counting the smaller craters within it and its ejecta deposits. This gave an age of 4+6−3 million years, much too old for the hypothesis.[2]

This raises the question of what the monks saw. An alternative theory holds that the monks just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see an exploding meteor coming at them and aligned with the Moon. This would explain why the monks were the only people known to have witnessed the event; such an alignment would only be observable from a specific spot on the Earth’s surface.[8]

See also

5148 Giordano, asteroid


^ “Giordano Bruno (crater)”. Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.

^ a b .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”\”””\”””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}Morota, T.; Haruyama, J.; Miyamoto, H.; Honda, C.; Ohtake, M.; Yokota, Y.; Matsunaga, T.; Hirata, N.; Demura, H.; Takeda, H.; Ogawa, Y.; Kimura, J. (2009). “Formation age of the lunar crater Giordano Bruno”. Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 44 (8): 1115–1120. Bibcode:2009M&PS…44.1115M. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2009.tb01211.x.

^ The Cosmic Winter, Clube and Napier. Blackwell Publishing, First Edition (May 1990)

^ a b c Jack B., Hartung (1976). “Was the Formation of a 20-km Diameter Impact Crater on the Moon Observed on June 18, 1178?”. Meteoritics. 11 (3): 187–194. Bibcode:1976Metic..11..187H. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.1976.tb00319.x.

^ a b c Camale, O.; Mulholland, J. D. (1978). “Lunar Crater Giordano Bruno: A.D. 1178 Impact Observations Consistent with Laser Ranging Results”. Science. 199 (4331): 875–87. Bibcode:1978Sci…199..875C. doi:10.1126/science.199.4331.875. JSTOR 1745270. PMID 17757584. S2CID 206570050.

^ Kettlewell, Jo (1 May 2001). “Historic lunar impact questioned”. BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2012.

^ Stiles, Lori (20 April 2001). “What Medieval Witnesses Saw Was Not Big Lunar Impact, Grad Student Says”. University of Arizona. Retrieved 13 March 2013.

^ “The Mysterious Case of Crater Giordano Bruno”. NASA. Retrieved 18 June 2018.


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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Giordano Bruno (crater).AS08-12-2209, an excellent oblique view of the ray system with Lomonosov in the foreground, from Apollo 8
Lunar probe Kaguya overflight of Giordano Bruno crater (video)
Giordano Bruno, The Big Picture, LRO Featured Image, 26 June 2012
Outside of Giordano Bruno, LRO Featured Image, 25 August 2011
Retrieved from “” Customer reviews: Brother William's Year: A Customer reviews: Brother William's Year: A – Brother William was preparing to start the year 1383 with Rufus, a special dog he shared his life with. He was the gardener of Westminster Abbey and he also shared his life with "About 80 other monks who live in the monastery." The Brothers were Benedictine monks and each one of them had been assigned an important task.Class Management | Help Problem Set 2 A Begin Date: 9/16/2020 12:01:00 AM – Due Date: 10/18/2020 11:59:00 PM End Date: 12/4/2020 11:59:00 PM (8%) Problem 1: In the year 1178, five monks at Canterbury Cathedral in England observed what appeared to be an asteroid colliding with the moon, causing a red glow in and around it.Gervase and the Moon. Five monks from Canterbury reported to the abbey's chronicler, Gervase, that shortly after sunset on 18 June 1178, (25 June on the proleptic Gregorian calendar) they saw "the upper horn [of the moon] split in two." Furthermore, Gervase writes, "From the midpoint of the division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks.

Solved: Class Management | Help Problem Set 2 A Begin Date – More often, strange lights in the sky were considered portents of evil. So in 1178, five monks in Canterbury had what must have been a very trying summer. On June 18th, looking up at the moon, they…The Five Monks were a quintet of Monks who fought in the War of Thorns against Entsteig. In what would be the deciding battle of the war, all of the Five were killed, but their actions turned the tide of the war against Entsteig.Gervase tells us that in the year 1178 CE, five monks he knew came one day to tell him of something very unusual they had seen. It happened on June 18, when the monks were out at night; one of them glanced up at the crescent moon, and then called the attention of the others to it.

Solved: Class Management | Help Problem Set 2 A Begin Date

Gervase of Canterbury – Wikipedia – Events in year of 1178. 06-18 5 Canterbury monks report explosion on moon (only known observation); 06-18 Proposed time of origin of lunar crater Giordano Bruno; 06-25 5 Canterbury monks report something exploding on Moon; 07-30 Frederick I (Barbarossa), Holy Roman Emperor, crowned King of Burgundy; 08-29 Anti-Pope Callistus III gives Pope title to Alexander III5 Canterbury monks report something exploding on Moon. More Notable Events on June 25: 2006 Warren Buffett donates $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 1997 Christies auctions off Princess Di's clothing for $5.5 million 1981 Supreme Court upholds male-only draft registration, constitutionalHONOLULU (AP) — There have been 18 monk seal pups born in Hawaii so far this year, federal environmental officials said. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 11 on Molokai, five on Oahu and one each on Kauai and Hawaii Island, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.. The agency said the number falls short of the record 48 pups born in the main Hawaiian islands last year.

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