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LMP (map series): Lunar Earthside, Farside, and Polar Charts

(glossary entry)


The LMP series of maps, which has been published in three editions, portrays the entire Moon at a scale of 1:5,000,000 (1 unit on map = 5,000,000 units on Moon). One map shows the equatorial regions of the Moon's nearside, a second map shows the equatorial regions of the farside, and a third map shows the north and south polar regions.

Additional Information

  • Together with the LAC series at a scale of 1:1,000,000 and the LTO series at a scale of 1:250,000, the LMP maps were part of NASA's plan to completely document the lunar surface in a systematic and uniform fashion. Each succeeding series basically divides the preceding series into sixteen parts, shown in ever increasing detail.
  • The LPI website has the following LMP maps available for download:
    • LMP-1 (Nearside; 3rd edition, May 1976)
    • LMP-2 (Farside; 3rd edition, May 1976)
    • LMP-3 (Polar regions; 2nd edition, October 1970)
  • The USGS has copies of LMP-2 and LMP-3 which it identifies as "first edition, January, 1970". The note to their copy of LMP-1 (1970) says "A preliminary version seems to be LEC-1, Lunar Earthside Chart, provisional, 1968, ACIC." However, in all cases they provide links to the versions listed above, on the LPI website.
  • The First Edition was probably the provisional maps used by the IAU's Working Group on Lunar Nomenclature in assigning farside names, and referred to in the draft copy of Menzel, 1971. Those were probably an outgrowth of a farside map at the same scale as the later LMP maps listed in the USGS catalog as LFC-1 (1967) and of which the catalog says "The map is labeled provisional. There are named craters." This, in turn is probably related to the farside map with numbered (rather than named) features described as "LFC-2, scale 1:10000000, 1st edition, August 1967" presented to the IAU and widely distributed at its 1967 meeting.
  • The October 1970 Second Edition was prepared in cooperation with the IAU as a representation of the farside nomenclature provisionally approved at the 1970 meeting and finalized in Menzel, 1971. As explained in detail in the latter document, a number of changes were made subsequent to the publication of the maps, so they show some names that differ from thos finally adopted.
  • As can be seen in the on-line copy of LMP-3, the maps of the Second Edition indicated the positions of some of the lettered craters in the IAU nomenclature, and the IAU encouraged NASA to retain those designations in the the Third Edition. However, the version available on-line contains no lettered features. - Jim Mosher
  • The term LMP is (almost certainly) an abbreviation of "Lunar Mercator and Polar [Stereographic]". - ArbusDriver Aug 16, 2007

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