latin terms

By modern convention, all lunar features are formally named in Latin.

A curious aspect of this system is that dark, smooth areas are named as seas, bays and lakes. When, after the invention of the telescope, the surface of the Moon was first seen in detail, it was thought that these really were bodies of water. Although we now know that they are areas of younger rock, the tradition of giving them aquatic names has continues. Here they are with their meanings, starting with the seas (Maria):
Mare Australe Southern Sea
Mare Crisium Sea of Crises
Mare Fecunditatis Sea of Fertility
Mare Frigoris Sea of Cold
Mare Humboldtianum Humboldt's Sea
Mare Humorum Sea of Moisture
Mare Imbrium Sea of Showers
Mare Marginis Marginal Sea
Mare Nectaris Sea of Nectar
Mare Nubium Sea of Clouds
Mare Orientale Eastern Sea
Mare Serenitatis Sea of Serenity
Mare Smythii Smyth's Sea
Mare Spumans Foaming Sea
Mare Tranquillitatis Sea of Tranquility
Mare Undarum Sea of Waves
Mare Vaporum Sea of Vapours
Oceanus Procellarum Ocean of Storms
Sinus Aestuum Seething Bay
Sinus Iridium Bay of Rainbows
Sinus Medii Central Bay
Sinus Roris Bay of Dews
Palus Epidemarium Marsh of Diseases
Palus Nebularium Marsh of Mists
Palus Putredinis Marsh of Decay
Palus Somnii Marsh of Sleep
Lacus Mortis Lake of Death
Lacus Somniorum Lake of the Dreamers

Latin terms are also used (with greater accuracy) for dry land features such as -
Rima /
rille /
eg Rima Ariadaeus
Rupes scarp eg Rupes Recta
Mons /
mountain /
eg Montes Haemus
Vallis valley eg Vallis Schröteri
Catena crater chain eg Catena Davy
Dorsum /
eg Dorsa Smirnov

Inconstant Moon