Maupertius is the remnant of a lunarcrater that is located in the northern part of the Moon's near side. It lies in the stretch of rugged terrain north of Sinus Iridium, a bay in the northwestern corner of the Mare Imbrium. To the north lies La Condamine crater and Mare Frigoris.
This is a crater that has been nearly obliterated by a history of impacts, leaving only a disintegrated remnant of the original rim. The surviving outer rim is not especially circular, having been reshaped into a somewhat pentagonal outline. There are deep gouges from cratering along the northeastern rim. The interior floor is not in much better shape, being rough and irregular.
To the northeast of this crater is a system of rilles that have the designation Rimae Maupertius. These are considered to have formed through geological activity. The rilles require good seeing and a larger telescope to observe.
By convention these features are identified on Lunar maps by placing the letter on the side of the crater mid-point that is closest to Maupertuis crater.
Maupertuis, based on his exposition of Newton (with the help of his mentor Johan Bernoulli) predicted that the Earth should be oblate, while his rival Jacques Cassini measured it astronomically to be prolate.
In 1736 Maupertuis acted as chief of the expedition sent by King Louis XV to Lapland to measure the length of a degree of the meridian; his results, which he published in a book detailing his procedures along with an adventure narrative of the expedition, essential settled the controversy in his favor.
In 1740 Maupertuis went to Berlin at the invitation of Frederick II of Prussia, and took part in the Battle of Mollwitz, where he was taken prisoner by the Austrians.
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