April 26, 2015
Originally published April 25, 2004
Image Credit: Lunar & Planetary Lab, Univ. of Arizona; photo by CA Wood
Gerard Kuiper generated more lunar atlases than any other person I know. In 1959, he began the onslaught with the publication of the Photographic Atlas of the Moon, a heavy red box containing large halftone enlargements of lunar photos. This was followed by the Orthographic Atlas of the Moon (1961), described here, the Rectified Lunar Atlas (1963), and finally the best lunar atlas ever published, the Consolidated Lunar Atlas (1967). These are all long out of print and highly sought collectors' items; I wish I could find my copies! The Orthographic Atlas of the Moon, coauthored with Dai Arthur and Ewen Whitaker, was another large red-covered atlas, bound on the left side with aluminum posts, like some stamp albums. Each page contains a good photograph of an area with a superposed white grid of rectangular coordinates, xi and eta. This is the same coordinate system used on the Lunar Quadrant Maps sold by Sky & Telescope. The orthographic coordinate grid made it easy - and still does - to determine the coordinates of a feature, for example, the position of a shadow-casting peak. Forty years ago, I used the Ortho Atlas every day in compiling the System of Lunar Craters catalog and maps.
The system of lunar craters, quadrant I: Arthur, DWG, Agnieray, AP, Horvath, RA, Wood, CA, and Chapman, CR, 1963, Communications of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, v. 2, no. 30, p. 71-78, 4 appendixes and 12 maps.
Yesterday's LPOD: The Star of Astronomy Night
Tomorrow's LPOD: America Hits the Moon!
Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood