Cover image for Mapping and naming the moon : a history of lunar cartography and nomenclature
Mapping and naming the moon : a history of lunar cartography and nomenclature
Whitaker, Ewen A. (Ewen Adair)
Publication Information:
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Physical Description:
xix, 242 pages : illustrations, facsimiles, maps. ; 25 cm
General Note:
Originally published: 1999.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB595 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Almost thirty 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.

Author Notes

Ewen Adair Whitaker was born in London, England on June 22, 1922. After graduating from the John Roan School in Greenwich, he was hired as a lab assistant for the electrical engineering company Siemens Brothers. While there, he worked on the Pluto (Pipeline Under the Ocean) project and received a certificate in mechanical engineering from Woolwich Polytechnic.

In 1949, he became an astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. While there, he became an expert in lunar photography and selenography. In 1958, he became a research associate at the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin and then as an associate research scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Arizona until retiring in 1987. During his lifetime, he helped select landing sites for unmanned NASA spacecraft in the 1960s, guided the footsteps of the Apollo 12 astronauts, and developed accurate maps of the moon.

He wrote several books, atlases, and scientific papers including Photographic Lunar Atlas, Orthographic Atlas of the Moon, Rectified Lunar Atlas, Consolidated Lunar Atlas, Mapping and Naming the Moon: A History of Lunar Cartography and Nomenclature, NASA Catalogue of Lunar Nomenclature, and Representations and Maps of the Moon: The First Two Centuries. He died on October 11, 2016 at the age of 94.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. ix
Picture creditsp. xii
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Acknowledgementsp. xviii
Era 1 From Prehistoric Images to Archetype Map
1 Pre-telescopic lunar observationsp. 3
Images in the Moonp. 3
Naked eye viewing of the Moonp. 4
Geographical features in the Moonp. 6
The first known Moon drawingsp. 8
A Moon drawing with namesp. 10
Gilbert's nomenclaturep. 15
2 Early telescopic observations of the Moonp. 17
Thomas Harriotp. 17
Galileo Galileip. 19
'Maria' and 'Terrae' on the Moonp. 20
Galileo's drawings of the Moonp. 20
Scheiner, Malapert, Biancani, Borri, and Fontanap. 25
Pierre Gassendip. 25
Gassendi's nomenclaturep. 29
Review of the Mellan engravingsp. 33
3 Van Langren (Langrenus) and the birth of selenographyp. 37
Van Langren and the Spanish connectionp. 37
Composing the mapp. 38
The Strasbourg forgeryp. 40
Review of the Van Langren mapp. 42
Van Langren's nomenclaturep. 45
4 Six more years of busy activityp. 47
Rheita and Fontanap. 47
Hevelius and his Selenographiap. 50
Hevelius's nomenclaturep. 51
Review of the Hevelius images and mapsp. 56
Divini and Sersalep. 57
Riccioli and further changesp. 60
Riccioli's nomenclaturep. 62
Distributing the namesp. 63
Review of the Grimaldi/Riccioli mapsp. 66
Era 2 From Archetype to Maturity
5 140 years of sporadic activityp. 71
Two competing maps and nomenclaturesp. 71
Lunar observations and mapping, 1652-1790p. 72
1 Christopher Wren's globep. 72
2 Montanari's quaint, unique mapp. 73
3 Hooke and Huygens scrutinize the detailsp. 73
4 Cherubin and his cherubsp. 75
5 Two coups for Cassinip. 78
6 A second quaint seventeenth century imagep. 80
7 Another closer lookp. 80
8 Mayer, pioneer of scientific selenographyp. 82
9 Lambert's parallel effortp. 83
10 Copied mapsp. 85
Nomenclature changes, 1652-1790p. 85
1 Cassini makes three changesp. 85
2 Allard adds, subtracts, moves, and changes namesp. 92
3 Keill sets a poor examplep. 92
4 A few further attempts at additionsp. 92
6 A globe, tree rings, and a cityp. 95
Time to move aheadp. 95
Improved telescopes make their debutp. 95
Russell goes in one direction ...p. 96
.... and Schroter goes in anotherp. 98
Schroter's nomenclaturep. 104
Riccioli gets the nodp. 106
Seventysix new names, and letters galorep. 107
Review of Schroter's drawingsp. 107
Gruithuisen invites some ridiculep. 109
Drawings and a mapp. 111
7 Lunar cartography comes of agep. 115
Lohrmann shows the wayp. 115
Review of the Lohrmann mapp. 119
Lohrmann's nomenclaturep. 119
Beer and Madler's magnum opusp. 120
A map and a tomep. 121
Review of the Madler mapp. 121
Madler's nomenclaturep. 123
Era 3 From Proliferation to Standardization
8 Lunar mapping in the Victorian periodp. 131
Schmidt doubles the scale ...p. 131
Schmidt's nomenclaturep. 135
...and the BA quintuples itp. 135
Neison's popular bookp. 136
Photography enters the picturep. 139
A large globe, and plaster modelsp. 142
9 Nomenclature gets international attentionp. 151
Franz and Saunder lead the wayp. 151
Saunder provides the impetusp. 153
Mary Blagg does the donkey workp. 154
Goodacre goes Cartesianp. 156
The International Astronomical Union takes overp. 156
Finally, an internationally acceptable documentp. 160
Era 4 The Space Age Demands Changes
10 Setting up guidelinesp. 171
The IAU rejects some proposed new namesp. 171
The Winds of Change are a'blowin'p. 173
The Space Age loomsp. 173
Three busy years, 1961-4p. 174
1964-7-three even busier yearsp. 174
Zonds and Orbiters call the shotsp. 176
Extension to the farside, 1967-71p. 178
Chaos sets in, 1972-3p. 179
11 Planets and satellites set the rulesp. 181
Further developments, 1973-6p. 181
WGPSN asserts its authorityp. 181
Stability begins to returnp. 182
Letters for farside craters?p. 184
Winding down after the turmoilp. 186
After-wordp. 189
A Names in Van Langren's manuscript mapp. 191
B Differences between Van Langren's engraved mapsp. 193
C Differences between the Strasbourg forgery and Paris versionp. 194
D Van Langren's nomenclaturep. 195
E Hevelius's nomenclaturep. 201
F Hevelius's names still used in modern mapsp. 209
G Riccioli's nomenclaturep. 210
H Schroter's new namesp. 218
I Madler's new namesp. 219
J Birt's and Lee's new namesp. 221
K Neison's new namesp. 223
L Schmidt's new namesp. 224
M Franz's new namesp. 225
N Krieger's and Konig's new namesp. 226
O Fauth's and Debes' new namesp. 227
P Lamech's new namesp. 228
Q Other new names in Named Lunar Formationsp. 229
R Wilkins's new namesp. 230
S IAU lunar nomenclature resolutions, 1961p. 231
T New names in the Rectified Lunar Atlasp. 234
U Additions to the NASA Catalogue of Lunar Nomenclature, RP 1097p. 236
V Selected bibliography and referencesp. 237
Indexp. 241