Challenger Astronauts Memorialized on the Moon

Image: Craters in the center of Apollo basin (36°S, 209°E) named after Space Shuttle Challenger astronauts, LROC WAC mosaic, ~190 km wide [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Apollo is a 524 km-diameter impact basin located within the center of the the giant South Pole-Aitken basin. Apollo is also a Constellation Project Region of Interest, identified by NASA as a notional area for future human lunar exploration. The Constellation Region of Interest is located in the southwest corner of the mare deposit that fills this basin-within-a-basin.
After the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger, seven craters on the eastern rim of this basin were named after the crew: Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee, Michael Smith.
Go to the WAC mosaic of the entire Apollo basin and surroundings.
More information and images at LROC

Lunar Coordinates Now Available in ULCN 2005

In 2010, the coordinates of the named features in the lunar portion of the nomenclature database were updated from values from historical sources to values in the coordinate frame of the Unified Lunar Control Network 2005 (ULCN 2005, see The purpose of this work was to facilitate the identification of named lunar features. Dots representing the coordinates of the centers of named features will fall in the centers of the features when displayed on any map product that was created using the same ULCN 2005 control network.

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1:1 Million-Scale USGS Maps of the Moon

There are many excellent maps and atlases of the Moon in print and online, with each addressing a particular objective or community. Some maps were created for lunar astronomical observers, some feature a specific type of image, and others concentrate on global coverage or a particular region of the Moon. However, none of these sources provides an up-to-date and comprehensive picture of lunar nomenclature. The lunar maps presented here have two purposes: (1) to bring together the wealth of information on the locations of named features on the Moon into a single source and (2) to keep this source current so users have access to the most recent changes in lunar nomenclature.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the internationally recognized authority for assigning nomenclature to planetary surface features. The lunar maps on this web site are based on the information contained in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, which is a dynamic listing of IAU-approved planetary surface feature names. The Astrogeology Team of the U.S. Geological Survey maintains the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature on behalf of the IAU with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). More at USGS

Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon, By Charles Byrne

Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the MoonLunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon, By Charles Byrne
In 1967, Lunar Orbiter Mission 4 sent back to Earth a superb series of photographs of the surface of the Moon, despite severe degradation caused by scanning artifacts and the reconstruction processes involved in transmission from lunar orbit.
Using 21st century techniques, Charles Byrne, previously System Engineer of the Apollo Program for Lunar Orbiter Photography, has removed the artifacts and imperfections to produce the most comprehensive and beautifully detailed set of images of the lunar surface.
The book has been organized to make it easy for astronomers to use, enabling ground-based images and views to be compared with the Orbiter photographs. The photographs are striking for their consistent Sun angles (for uniform appearance). All features have been identified with their current IAU-approved names, and each photograph has been located in terms of latitude and longitude. To help practical astronomers, all the photographs are systematically related to an Earth-based view.
A CD is included with the book, providing the enhanced and cleaned photographs for screen viewing, lectures, etc.

The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide

The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic GuideThe Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide, By Charles Byrne

The far side of the Moon, also called the ‘dark side of the Moon’ was unknown to humanity until the Luna and Lunar Orbiter pictures were returned to Earth. Even since then, its nature has puzzled researchers. Now we know that a giant impact struck the near side with such force that it created the ‘near side megabasin’, opening the way for floods of mare and sending vast amounts of ejecta to the far side. “The Far Side of the Moon” explains this event and also documents the appearance of the features of the far side with beautiful pictures from Lunar Orbiter. As in the previous volume, “The Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon”, the author has taken the original images and cleaned them of system artefacts using modern digital image processing. The best photographic coverage of the far side of the Moon has been the 150 photos taken by the Lunar Orbiter series. The other sources are pictures taken by the Apollo Command Module, which were limited to the equatorial regions, and the Clementine mission, which took pictures at a high sun angle that washed out the topography of the features. Until now, the far side Lunar Orbiter photos have only been available with strong reconstruction lines, but appear here for the first time as complete photographs, unmarred by imaging and processing artefacts. Also, this is the first book to explain in detail how the far side was deeply covered by ejecta from the Near Side Megabasin and modified by later impacts. A CD-R accompanies the book, and contains all the enhanced and cleaned photographs for use by the reader in screen viewing, lectures, etc.

The Clementine Atlas of the Moon

The Clementine Atlas of the MoonThe Clementine Atlas of the Moon, Ben Bussey and Paul D. Spudis
The highly successful Clementine mission to the Moon in 1994 gave scientists their first global look at the Moon, and both the near and far side were mapped. This atlas is based on the data collected by the Clementine mission. It covers the entire Moon in 144 Lunar Aeronautical Charts (LACs), and represents the most complete lunar nomenclature database in existence, listing virtually all named craters and other features. This is the first atlas to show the entire lunar surface in uniform scale and format. A section of color plates shows lunar composition and physical properties.

The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration

The International Atlas of Lunar ExplorationThe International Atlas of Lunar Exploration, Philip J. Stooke
Bringing together a wealth of information from many sources, including some material never before published, this atlas is a comprehensive reference on lunar exploration. It tells the story of every spacecraft mission to the Moon since the dawn of the space age, illustrating each account with a unique combination of maps and annotated photographs. Many of the illustrations were created especially for this atlas, including panoramic photographs from every lunar mission. The missions are listed in chronological order, providing readers with an easy to follow history of lunar missions. Special attention has been given to describing the processes involved in choosing landing sites for Apollo and its precursors. The atlas also includes missions that were planned but never flown, before looking ahead to future missions as the world’s space agencies prepare for a new phase of lunar exploration.

Atlas and Gazetteer of the Near Side of the Moon

NASA SP-241, Gutschewski, G. L.; Kinsler, D. C.; Whitaker, E., NASA SP-241, 1971
Download document (190 MB PDF)
This atlas and gazetteer is a photographic and tabular compilation of named lunar features appearing on the near side side of the Moon. To provide an easy method of locating lunar features in the atlas, the names have been annotated on the photographs, which are accompanied by locational data regarding the named features.
Five indices comprising he gazetteer are provided for appropriate cross-referencing of the high resolution rbiter IV photography and the mediaum-resolution photgraphy onbtained from the other orbiter missions.

Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon

By David E. Bowker and J. Kenrick Hughes, NASA SP-206, 1970
Download document (12 MB PDF) Online version (LPI)
During 1966 and 1967 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to obtain photographs from orbit of the surface of the Moon. The reconstructed photographs and support data are now on file at the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC), Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The purpose of this Atlas is to present a selection of these photographs which provides essentially complete coverage of the near side and far side of the Moon in greater detail than any publication now in existence.

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