Who's Who in the Moon

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British Astronomical Association: Who's Who in the Moon (1938)

Notes on the Names of all Lunar Formations Adopted in 1935 by the International Astronomical Union
(glossary entry)


This is the first Memoir of the Historical Section of British Astronomical Association (it is vol 34, Part 1 of the entire Memoirs, BAA) and was complied in 1938 under the direction of Mrs. John Evershed (Mary Acworth Evershed, 1867–1949) using material from 28 contributors. It provides a short biographical sketch for each person listed in Named Lunar Formations and especially notes their astronomical and lunar work.

Additional Information

  • The volume of B.A.A. Memoirs containing Who’s Who in the Moon has been digitized by the University of California and may appear someday on the internet. “Snippet views” of the passages related to individual features can be read (with some difficulty) by searching the digitized version 1 or version 2 on Google Books. - Jim Mosher Jan 5, 2008
  • Named Lunar Formations identified the person Blagg and Müller thought responsible for introducing each name into the lunar nomenclature (in some cases the original name may have been used for a different feature); but prior to Menzel, 1971 it does not seem to have been the practice of lunar cartographers to give a clear explanation of the specific person they honored with their names. Hence in compiling the BAA's list, a certain amount of guesswork must have been involved in attempting to determine which person was intended. As a result some of the identifications may not be the person intended. The BAA identifications have never been officially endorsed by the IAU, but (although not mentioned in that work) they probably strongly influenced the name "Origin" information incorporated in the first print editions of IAU Planetary Gazetteer.
    • The page on IAU Name Origins mentions a number of possible errors in the BAA identifications, some of which persist in the IAU Gazetteer.
  • The on-line IAU Planetary Gazetteer has become the de-facto standard for determining who the IAU "officially" believes is honored by each name, and it is the primary source of the "named for" information in The-Moon Wiki. Many honorees have been added since the 1938 Who's who in the Moon, and in some cases, additional honorees have been added to feature names mentioned there. No systematic effort has been made to check that the attributions in the IAU Planetary Gazetteer agree with those in Who's who in the Moon.
  • In 1995, a similarly titled book was produced by Elijah and Josiah Cocks, two 19 year old twins. Their book gives more extensive details but is mostly a compilation of information from standard biographical encyclopedias, and places no particular emphasis on the lunar connections or accomplishments of the many honorees added since 1935.
  • British amateur Anthony J. Kinder has reportedly been working on an update of Who's Who in the Moon for many years (Whitaker, page 240). American author Robert Garfinkle is also reportedly working an observing guide that will include comprehensive notes on the identity of the persons honored by the lunar names.

LPOD Articles

Lunar Names