Lunar Craters Provisionally Named for Columbia Astronauts

Names for seven craters in the Apollo basin on the Moon have been provisionally approved by the International Astronomical Union to honor the seven Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts. The names can be seen in the list of lunar crater names in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
The names are: Husband, McCool, Chawla, L. Clark, M. Anderson, D. Brown, Ramon.
Note that first initials have been used for Anderson, Brown, and Clark to distingiush them from other crater names on the Moon which honor persons with the same surnames. [Larger image] (source: USGS Astrogeology Center)

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