April 29, 2014

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A New Classic

cover and sample page from John Moore, Ireland

Here is a modern version of the classic lunar books I grew up with. John Moore has just published a 714 page tome that describes named craters on the lunar nearside. Like the books by Elger, Goodacre, and Wikins and Moore, this is a compendium, a resource, providing descriptions of 662 nearside craters. The images are from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter cameras, and the coordinates and diameters are from the updated list of the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature maintained by Jenny Blue for the International Astronomical Union. John includes a short geological description based on his own studies. More information is available at Amazon, and John has made a short video (with a great opening scene) describing the book's contents. If, like me, you are a collector of all things lunar, of course you will add this book to your collection. But if you are a casual user, more an observer than a reader, why should you want it? A simple answer is that it packages useful information in a convenient format - if you can call a weight of 3 pounds convenient. Craters of the Near Side Moon labels more than 5000 lettered craters and lists their diameters. This information is available no where else but on the IAU's Gazetteer website (on dozens of image maps, each of which must be called up separately) and on the clickable names labels for each crater on the LRO QuickMap. Both of these web resources are available for free and are invaluable, but could disappear if ever NASA funding stops. The book is on my desk, ready to use for the rest of my life.

Chuck Wood

Yesterday's LPOD: A Knot of Features

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Month of Luck


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