ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Mitra Crater


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mitra crater

Mains level : Not Much

  • Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter or mother spacecraft has zeroed in on a crater on the moon named after 20th century’s.

Mitra Crater

  • Mitra is a lunar impact crater that is attached to the western outer rim of the larger crater Mach, on the far side of the Moon.
  • It is named after Sisir Kumar Mitra (1890-1963). He also lends his name to the S. K. Mitra Centre for Research in Space Environment of the University of Calcutta.
  • This is a heavily eroded formation with an outer rim that has been damaged by subsequent impacts.
  • The pictures were taken by the Terrain Mapping Camera-2 at the north pole of moon.
  • At 25 degrees Kelvin (minus 248 degrees Celsius), the northern polar region is believed to be one of the coldest spots in the solar system.

Lunar nomenclature

  • The first attempts at naming lunar craters date back to the 17th century, K B Shingareva and G A Burba write in their book The Lunar Nomenclature: The Reverse Side of the Moon, 1961-1973.
  • Some used the names of prominent personalities — scientists, philosophers and even members of royalty — while others named the lunar features after comparable features on Earth.
  • In a resolution by the International Astronomical Union in 1973, crater and crater-like formations are given the names of astronomers or eminent scientists , posthumously.
  • Among other lunar features, mountains are given names corresponding to the geographical names of mountains of the Earth, while extensive dark surfaces are given names that correspond to the mental states of humans.
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