November 19, 2004

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What's a Rukl?


Image Credit: Chuck Wood

What's a Rukl?

Lunar cartography has a remarkable history, with great map makers interspersed with less skillful ones. Among the greats I count Mellan, Cassini, Russell, Lohrmann, Madler, the US Defense Mapping Agency, and Antonin Rukl. Rukl, like Madler 170 years ago, is the standard of excellence. The only problem with Rukl's Atlas of the Moon is that it has been unavailable since the late 90s, and there is a large number of new lunar observers who have heard of the marvelous Rukl Atlas, but could never buy one. The nights of exploring the lunar wilderness without Rukl's guidance are thankfully over. A new Rukl, published by Sky & Telescope, with Gary Seronik as editor, is now available. Should you buy the new Rukl? If you don't own the classic 1990 edition, the answer is a resounding yes! If you do own the classic your decision will probably be based on whether you have a lunar obsession. The new version is probably 95% the same content as the old, with the major difference being in style. The S&T Rukl has light blue maps and all of the red lines and type have been replaced by red light friendly blues. A few former gaps near the south pole have been filled in using Clementine and radar images, and nomenclature has been updated to 2003. The layout of the new book is more modern and there is even a new book smell. I am glad to have the new Rukl (I do have an obsession!) because the binding of my old one, despite reverential care, is getting loose. It now goes in the rare book collection next to Lohrmann and Elger, and the blue Rukl is my new workhorse.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Note: Starting tomorrow I will be gone for 10 days on a trip to Nicaragua. Until December 1 LPOD will feature some of the great images from the last 6 months - I hope you enjoy seeing again these greatest hits of LPOD!

Related Links:
Buy Rukl at S&T

Yesterday's LPOD: A Glorious Serpentine Ridge

Tomorrow's LPOD: The Future of LPOD

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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