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Mapping and Naming the Moon

Mapping and Naming the Moon
A History of Lunar Cartography and Nomenclature


  • Date Published: December 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521544146

£ 48.00

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About the Authors
  • Almost 30 years after the Apollo missions, 'Tranquillity Base', 'Hadley Rille', or 'Taurus-Littrow' are names still resonant with the enormous achievements represented by the lunar landings. But how did these places get their names? Who named Copernicus Crater? Where did all those names on lunar maps come from, and what stimulated their selection? Ewen Whitaker traces the origins and evolution of the present-day systems for naming lunar features, such as craters, mountains, valleys and dark spots. The connections between the prehistoric and historic names, and today's gazetteer are clearly described. Beautiful lunar maps spanning four centuries of progress wonderfully illustrate the unfolding of our ability to map the Moon. Rare, early, photographs add to the sense of history. Comprehensive appendices and the bibliography make this delightful book a work of lasting reference and scholarship.

    • The most complete collection of maps of the Moon ever assembled in one book
    • The first collation of all lunar nomenclature in a single reference source
    • Author advises the International Astronomical Union on lunar feature names
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … a welcome new book on the history of lunar mapping. Ewen Whitaker probably knows more about selenocartography and lunar nomenclature than anyone alive. This fascinating book will provide guidelines and lessons for mapping and nomenclature when we finally return to the Moon.' Charles A. Wood, Sky and Telescope

    'This is just the sort of book I love. It is unusual and there is nothing on my bookshelf quite like it. It is eminently readable and I can see myself referring to it time after time. I can imagine any astronomer, amateur or professional, who has an interest in the Moon, the history of astronomy, or astronomers in general, enjoying this book greatly.' Dr David W. Hughes, University of Sheffield

    ' … very detailed, with excellent reproductions of the various maps … Whitaker and his publishers are to be congratulated for a book that is certain to remain the standard.' Patrick Moore, The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'Ewen Whitaker has been in the forefront of lunar cartography for many years, and is probably the world's leading authority on the subject of nomenclature. He is therefore uniquely qualified to write this book, and he has carried out his task well. The book is very detailed, with excellent reproductions of the various maps; the text has clearly taken many years of careful, painstaking research, and contains much information not to be found elsewhere. Whitaker and his publishers are to be congratulated upon producing a book that in this particular branch of scientific history, is certain to remain the standard.' Patrick Moore, Endeavour

    'The book is well written and produced. The book is comprehensive and likely to become the definitive work.' Clive D, Labour and Industry

    'Whitaker presents us with a scholarly, yet most readable, insight into both the history of the drawing and production of Moon maps and the vagaries of naming lunar features.' David W. Hughes, The Observatory

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521544146
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 189 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 158 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. First Era: From Prehistoric Images to Archetype Map:
    1. Pre-telescopic lunar observations
    2. Early telescopic observations of the Moon
    3. Van Langren (Langrenus) and the birth of selenography
    4. Six more years of sporadic activity
    Part II. Second Era: From Archetype to Maturity:
    5. 140 years of sporadic activity
    6. A globe, tree rings, and a city
    7. Lunar cartography comes of age
    Part III. Third Era: From proliferation to standardisation:
    8. Lunar mapping in the Victorian period
    9. Nomenclature gets international attention
    Part IV. The Space Age Demands Changes:
    10. Setting up guidelines
    11. Planets and satellites set the rules. Appendices 1 - 22.

  • Author

    Ewen A. Whitaker, University of Arizona

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