The roughly circular hole left after one astronomical body collides with another.

The moon is covered with craters, as are mars and mercury. Most of the smaller craters on earth have been eroded away.

The Caribbean Sea is believed to have been partly formed from the crater formed when an asteroid crashed into earth, killing the dinosaurs.
Crater is a constellation near Virgo and Corvus. It shares parts with the constellation Hydra. It is also known as the Cup and the Two-Handled Pot.

Mythology and Legends

Crater has been identified as the Cup of Apollo, Hercules, Achilles, Dido, Medea, Bacchus, Icarus and Noah. The Egyptians saw Crater as a signal that the Nile was cresting during the annual floods.

            *                   Theta
            |                    *
            |                    |
            |                    |
            |                    |
            * Zeta               * Epsilon
             \                  /
              \                /
               *--------------* Delta
             Gamma            |
           Beta             Alkes    Nu Hydrae

    Notes: Nu Hydrae, actually part of the Hydra
           constellation, has a planetary nebula
           on a line extended from Alkes through Nu.
           The greek names include Crater, such as
           Beta Crater.

The cup is associated with the legends surrounding Corvus.

Cra"ter (kr?t?r), n. [L. crater, cratera, a mixing vessel, the mouth of a volcano, Gr. , fr. to mix; cf. Skr. to mix, ir to cook, r to cook. Cf. Crail, in Holy Grail.]


The basinlike opening or mouth of a volcano, through which the chief eruption comes; similarly, the mouth of a gevser, about which a cone of silica is often built up.

2. Mil.

The pit left by the explosion of a mine.

3. Astron.

A constellation of the southen hemisphere; -- called also the Cup.


© Webster 1913.

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