Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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Jul 20

Moon Day

Moon and Airless Bodies
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Craters on the Moon
Korolev crater 1038
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"The moon has a face like the clock in the hall; She shines on thieves on the garden wall, On streets and fields and harbour quays, And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees." ~Robert Louis Stevenson, The Moon

There are several craters of the moon named after Scottish scientists! There is even an asteroid named after Scottish author Iain Banks. The official citation for Asteroid 5099 reads: "Iain M. Banks (1954-2013) was a Scottish writer best known for the Culture series of science fiction novels; he also wrote fiction as Iain Banks. An evangelical atheist and lover of whisky, he scorned social media and enjoyed writing music. He was an extra in Monty Python & The Holy Grail."

Today, July 20, commemorates  the 1969 moon landing and moon walk!

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC.

This tartan was designed on behalf of Charles Cockell, Professor of Astrobiology, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh to celebrate robotic and human science, exploration and outreach activities associated with the Moon or other airless bodies including asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt Objects or other objects.


The tartan colours represent the following:  The grey background represents the minerals and rocks on airless bodies. The bold white line represents ice or salt deposits on some bodies, for example, icy comets or ice in the permanently shadowed craters of the Moon. The black line represents organic materials on comets, in lunar polar craters and other bodies. The green line represents life eventually established on these bodies in the form of human exploration and settlement. The silver line represents the future technological transformation of some of these bodies by human settlement and industry.

Many features of the moon are named after famous individuals.  Amongst others, several craters of the moon are named after Scottish scientists:  

  • The Neper crater is named after the Scottish mathematician, physicist, astronomer and astrologer John Napier.

  • The Mee crater is named after the 19th-century Scottish astronomer Arthur Butler Phillips Mee.

  • The Brewster crater is named after the Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster.

  • The Maxwell crater is named after the Scottish mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

For a comprehensive list of people with craters of the moon named after them, click the moon!