September 4, 2018

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Inconstant Boltzmann

Originally published June 22, 2009 LPOD-June22-09.jpg
maps annotated by Wilfried Tost, Berlin, Germany

Boltzmann (74.9°S; 90.7°W) is just north of Drygalski. However, the Lunar Earthside, Farside and Polar Charts Series (LMP) map of 1970 printed Boltzmann at a wrong position, just south of Mendel. The mislabelled crater at this position is actually Lippmann (55.5°S; 114.6°W). The position of Boltmann was corrected by the IAU in the fall of 1970 after a protest from David Arthur and Ewen Whitaker, but the LMP map was not. The first corrected map was the LPC-1 Lunar Chart from NASA, published in 1979. Unfortunately, many Lunar globes and other maps of the time used the LMP map as an IAU approved source, so they all show Boltzmann near Mendel instead of near Drygalski. Check your own globe if you have one. Chances are good that you have a mislabelled one. The wrong position for Boltzmann was not the only glitch for the IAU in 1970. When they corrected their error at the end of 1970, they also misspelled the name as Lippman. It took the IAU until 1982 to correct the name to the proper spelling Lippmann, as the honor goes to the Frenchman Gabriel Lippmann (Nobel Prize for Physics in 1908).

Wilfried Tost

Related Links
Clementine Atlas plate 143
Report on Lunar Nomenclature; Working Group of Commission 17 of the IAU, 1971.

Note from CAW: Did you see the IMPACT TV program? It is the worst Moon sci-fi story ever?

Yesterday's LPOD: Pole 2.0

Tomorrow's LPOD: Carefully Observing the Sky


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