About This Book

The current version is intended for advanced lunar observations. It is also a complement to the large-plate "Hatfield" Photographic Lunar Atlas and the cartographic "Rukl" Atlas of the Moon.

The book collects about 270 photographs including the mosaics. Most of them were taken in Hong Kong with the author's 10-inch (254 mm) Newtonian reflector since December 2002. It meets the following criteria:

• All lunar images are selenographic south up unless otherwise noted.

• The date, time, Moon age and equipment used during an exposure are given together with a brief description of the lunar features.

• An Overview to refresh the Moon basics.

• A section on the Methods of Imaging.

• In general, images of the lunar nearside are sequenced in regional MAPsI from east to west, e.g. Mare Crisium and Petavius come first, finally Grimaldi and Schickard. Lunar events such as eclipses are described in the [EVENT pages. A cross-reference with Hatfield's and Rukl's maps is also indicated in the page corner whenever applicable.

• The English-Chinese index at the back of the book facilitates the search of 1,000 named features. The glossary explains lunar terms in simple language.

A CD copy of the current version is available by post. It is best viewed in 19-inch or bigger PC screen.

Chu Wing Hung (Alan Chu)

email address: [email protected]

Last updated: 2008 January, Hong Kong, China.


1. Overview

Our natural satellite, the Moon, is a fascinating object. It is a little more than a quarter of the Earth diameter, about 1.3 light-seconds away. Virtually it has no atmosphere, no surface water and no active volcanism. Lots of surface features can be observed through telescopes as small as 6-cm (2.4-inch) aperture, and they change in view under different angles of sunlight.

Lunar features are traditionally classified in Latin as

Lacus (lake)

Moris (mountain) J

Monies (mountain ranges) [i|jjg

Promontorium (promontory / cape) fl /

Dorsum (wrinkle ridge, plural: dorsa)

Catena (crater chain, plural: catenae)

while craters are named after mythic legends or individuals who contributed in science, technology, philosophy, mathematics or expedition. Crater is a generic term for circular depression, typically a ring mountain or a walled plain which has relatively large and flat floor. There are 33,000 craters greater than one-km diameter on the visible side of the Moon, about 870 of them bear names and 5,400 are identified by a letter placed towards the center of an adjacent prominent crater, e.g. Gassendi A. The largest crater visible from Earth is Bailly near the south limb. It is a walled plain, outer diameter 300 km. Dozens of craters are also centers of bright rays. On the maria, wrinkle ridges and small low hills called domes are visible under very oblique sunlight.

Lunar features are best seen when they are near the terminator, the border line between light and shadow. Their positions are defined by the selenographic coordinates in which the 00 longitude and 00 latitude are within a small mare named Sinus Medii (Central Bay). This sinus is visible in binoculars, see next page. The lunar hemisphere permanently facing Earth is termed the nearside; it ranges from 900 E to 900 W through the 00 longitude. When the Moon's south pole is positioned at top, the east limb of the nearside is at the left-hand side, the west limb is at the right-hand side.

Surface ^ features of the nearside are depicted under [Map 1| to Map 33| with the selenographic south at top and the east at left. Lunar phenomena about libration, terminator, crescent, eclipse and occultation are illustrated under Event l| to Event 4|. A map of the [Farside| that opposes the nearside is also given.


Selenographic Coordinates +


Selenographic Coordinates +

90° W

Landmarks on the Moon

Mare Crisium, Grimaldi, Tycho and Plato form a cross; Copernicus, Kepler and Aristarchus form a triangle. Sinus Medii is almost at the center of the disc. The thumbnail is the mirror-reverse image through a star diagonal fitted on refractor or catadioptric telescope. N, S, E and W are selenographic directions as seen by an astronaut on the Moon; they are similar to the geographic directions on Earth.

In telescopes, the eastern half of a Moon disc (S-E-N) looks slightly brighter than the western half (S-W-N).

Moon watch in the northern hemisphere on Earth

Eyepiece View in S

Newtonian Telescope * H

Eyepiece View in S

Newtonian Telescope * H

Turn diagram upside-down for lunar observation in the southern hemisphere.

The Moon in small telescopes

This Moon crescent was photographed with a digital camera one hour after sunset through a 3-inch (8 cm) refractor. South is up. It represents a typical view of the Moon from a small telescope at low magnification. Although the telescope is small, it shows plenty of lunar features such as craters, mountains and dark plains. Small telescopes are easy to carry and less sensitive to atmospheric turbulences. Even owners of big instruments enjoy the use of smaller telescopes in field work and poor-seeing nights. The original parts of this image are cropped and shown in the inlets.


2. Fabricius

3. Metius

4. Brenner

5. Vallis Rheita Vallis Snellius Snellius Stevinus Wrottesley

10. Furnerius

11. Petavius

12. Vendelinus

13. Langrenus

15. Santbech

16. Colombo

17. Gutenberg

18. Fracastorius

19. Capella

20. Taruntius

21. Proclus

22. Cleomedes

23. Geminus

24. Messala

25. Macrobius

27. Atlas

28. Hercules

29. Endymion

30. Hubble

31. Plutarch

32. Hahn

33. Berosus

34. Gauss

35. Condorcet

36. Vlacq

37. Boussingault

A. Montes Pyrenaeus

B. Montes Taurus

C. Mare Crisium

29. Endymion

30. Hubble

31. Plutarch

32. Hahn

33. Berosus

34. Gauss

35. Condorcet

36. Vlacq

37. Boussingault

A. Montes Pyrenaeus

B. Montes Taurus

C. Mare Crisium

The Moon and its Terminator

The terminator is the border line between light and shadow. It looks irregular because of different height and albedo (reflectivity) of surface features. Features away from the terminator are often too bright (e.g. No. 62) or hidden in darkness (e.g. No. 15), yet they become distinctive when the bright margin of the terminator passes over them.

1. Tycho

2. Maginus

3. Clavius

4. Deslandres

5. Walther

6. Purbach

7. Arzachel

8. Alphonsus

9. Ptolemaeus

10. Davy

11. Albategnius

12. Hipparchus

13. Hind

14. Guericke

15. Fra Mauro

16. Birt, Straight Wall

17. Eratosthenes

18. Archimedes

19. Autolycus

20. Aristillus

21. Conon

22. Timocharis

23. Eudoxus

24. Aristoteles

25. Cassini

26. Plato

27. Anaxagoras

28. Godin

29. Triesnecker

30. Rima Hyginus

31. Dionysius

32. Julius Caesar

33. Vallis Alpes

34. Manilius

35. Menelaus

36. Bessel

37. Plinius

38. le Monnier

39. Posidonius

41. Atlas

42. Hercules

43. Endymion

44. Thales

45. Abulfeda

46. Janssen

47. Vallis Rheita

48. Piccolomini

49. Rupes Altai

50. Fracastorius

51. Theophilus

52. Cyrillus

53. Catharina

54. Capella

55. Isidorus

56. Messier

57. Sabine

58. Snellius

59. Furnerius

60. Petavius

61. Vendelinus

62. Langrenus

63. Taruntius

64. Proclus

65. Cleomedes

66. Pallas

67. Murchison

68. Regiomontanus

69. Maurolycus

70. Faraday

72. Moretus

A. Montes Apenninus

B. Montes Caucasus

C. Montes Alpes

The Moon at full brightness

This photograph shows the western half of a full moon. The terminator has gone completely. Crater Tycho, Copernicus, Kepler and Aristarchus (No. 1, 16, 20 & 23) radiate extensive bright rays that overwhelm large areas of the surface. Other landscapes lose their contrast too, though recognizable. The full moon is not a favorable time to spot lunar details.

1. Tycho

2. Alphonsus

3. Ptolemaeus

4. Archimedes

5. Timocharis

6. Anaxagoras

7. Philolaus

8. Plato

9. Mons Pico

10. Montes Recti

11. Sinus Iridum

12. Mairan

13. Mons Gruithuisen Gamma

15. Pytheas

16. Copernicus

17. Gambart

18. Fra Mauro

19. Guericke

20. Kepler

21. Encke

22. Reiner Gamma

23. Aristarchus

24. Herodotus

25. Seleucus

26. Eddington

27. Olbers A

28. Riccioli

29. Grimaldi

30. Flamsteed P

31. Montes Riphaeus

32. Euclides

33. Bullialdus

34. Mercator

35. Campanus

36. Capuanus

37. Ramsden

38. Vitello

39. Hippalus

40. Wurzelbauer

41. Pitatus

42. Hesiodus

43. Wolf

44. Birt

45. Gassendi

46. Letronne

47. Billy

48. Mons Hansteen

49. Sirsalis

50. Byrgius A

51. Darwin

53. Schickard

54. Schiller

55. Zucchius

56. Lansberg

57. Reinhold

59. Euler

60. Lambert

61. Meton

62. Carpenter

63. J. Herschel

64. Pythagoras

65. Harpalus

66. Sinus Roris

67. Sinus Aestuum

68. Palus Putredinis

69. Palus Epidemiarum

A. Montes Apenninus

B. Montes Caucasus

C. Montes Alpes

D. Montes Carpatus

26 V Si 30


2004.08.07 19:04 ÜT Age 22 days FS128 + LE24 + CP99Q at 1/30 sec

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