Unofficial Names

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Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names

Table of Contents

[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names]
[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names-Description Description]
[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names-Discontinued IAU Surface Feature Names Discontinued IAU Surface Feature Names]
[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names-The world's most complete ABC of Unofficial Lunar Nomenclature, Discontinued Nomenclature, disallowed names, proposed names, and nicknames (maintained by Danny Caes) The world's most complete ABC of Unofficial Lunar Nomenclature, Discontinued Nomenclature, disallowed names, proposed names, and nicknames (maintained by Danny Caes)]
[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names-Informal Geologic Surface Formation Names Informal Geologic Surface Formation Names]
[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names-Additional Information Additional Information]
[#Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names-LPOD Articles LPOD Articles]


By international agreement, names for surface features on the Moon are not "official" unless they are currently approved by the [/IAU IAU]. In addition to these official names, there are many informal and unofficial names, and some once-official names that have been dropped. Some are in widespread use; others are not. The the-Moon Wiki includes lists of many of these. The present page also lists some informal/unofficial descriptive names that have been used by geologists and may not be specific to a particular feature. Unlike official [/IAU IAU] surface feature names, there is no universally agreed upon definition of what the unofficial names refer to. You may, therefore, well encounter some of these names used in ways other than that described here.

Discontinued IAU Surface Feature Names

(partial list)
[/Al-Tusi Al-Tusi] (King Y)
[/Cape%20Banat Cape Banat] (aka Promontorium Banat)
Dorsum Lambert (disallowed name)
[/Eppinger Eppinger] (Euclides D)
[/Montes%20Hercynii Hercynian Mountains/ Montes Hercynii]
[/J.%20Cassini J. Cassini]
[/Mare%20Hiemis Mare Hiemis]
[/Mare%20Novum Mare Novum]
[/Mare%20Parvum Mare Parvum]
[/Mons%20Serao Mons Serao]
[/Montes%20D%27Alembert Montes D'Alembert]
[/Montes%20Doerfel Montes Doerfel]
[/Montes%20Leibnitz Montes Leibnitz]
[/Montes%20Secchi Montes Secchi]
[/Montes%20Sovietici Montes Sovietici]
[/Oriani Oriani]
[/Palus%20Nebularum Palus Nebularum]
[/Pietrosul%20Bay Pietrosul Bay]
[/Cape%20Banat Promontorium Banat] (Cape Banat).
[/Promontorium%20Lavinium Promontorium Lavinium]
[/Promontorium%20Olivium Promontorium Olivium]
[/Rima%20Burckhardt Rima Burckhardt]
[/Rima%20Byrgius Rima Byrgius]
[/Montes%20Riphaeus Riphaeus Boreus]
[/Montes%20Riphaeus Riphaeus Medius]
[/Montes%20Riphaeus Riphaeus Major]
[/Montes%20Riphaeus Riphaeus Minor]
[/Schneckenberg Schneckenberg]
[/Sinus%20Gay-Lussac Sinus Gay-Lussac]
[/Timoleon Timoleon]
[/Ural Ural]
[/W.%20Pickering W. Pickering] (Messier A)

  • Note: over the years many formerly [/lettered%20craters lettered craters] have been given individual names. Also in 1973, nearly all the Greek-lettered names for elevated features on the lunar surface were dropped. These former letter designations form the vast bulk of the discontinued IAU names, but they are not listed here

The world's most complete ABC of Unofficial Lunar Nomenclature, Discontinued Nomenclature, disallowed names, proposed names, and nicknames (maintained by Danny Caes)

  • [/clair-obscur Optical Feature Names] (Clair-Obscur phenomenae)
  • [/Unofficial%20Names%20%28A%20to%20F%29 Unofficial Names (A to F)] (+ link to page of proposed names)
  • [/Unofficial%20Names%20%28G%20to%20L%29 Unofficial Names (G to L)] (+ small interview)
  • [/Unofficial%20Names%20%28M%20to%20R%29 Unofficial Names (M to R)] (+ list of people behind Unofficial/Informal/Discontinued Nomenclature)
  • [/Unofficial%20Names%20%28S%20to%20Z%29 Unofficial Names (S to Z)] (+ miscellaneous Info)

An earlier version of Danny's ABC was compiled in 2000, while reading E.A.Whitaker's book Mapping and Naming the Moon. Danny's early interpretation of Whitaker's many lists (lunar nomenclature) and his early list of unofficial lunar nomenclature and nicknames was online in an ancient GeoCities site.

Informal Geologic Surface Formation Names

The following terms apply more to surface types or textures than to specific features. Most were originally named after a surface feature near which they appeared, but scientists may apply them to similar textures appearing elsewhere on the Moon.
- Aires Elliptiques (observed by G.Delmotte and cartographed by F.C.Lamech). See also page [/LPOD%20Miscellany LPOD Miscellany] (item *A Ghost Basin Rim?*).
- [/Apennine%20Bench%20Formation Apennine Bench Formation]
- [/Cayley%20Formation Cayley Formation]
- Frau Mauro Formation
- Lunar Ellipse of Fire (proposed by Farouk El-Baz, Sky and Telescope; june 1973).
- Maunder Formation (in Mare Orientale).
- Telemann Formation/ Telemann Unit (northwest of Oceanus Procellarum, near Markov and Sinus Roris).

Additional Information

See also: [/Invalid%20Names%20--%20Annotated Invalid names on the Lunar Topographic Orthophotomaps].
  • This is an alphabetic overview of all the names on the [/LTO LTO]-maps which were not accepted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Some of those non-IAU names were also printed on the much more detailed [/Topophotomap Lunar Topophotomaps]. Danny Caes explored each one of the Lunar Topographic Orthophotomaps and Lunar Topophotomaps, and included the numbers of the maps at the corresponding names.

Another important source is the book [/Mapping%20and%20Naming%20the%20Moon Mapping and Naming the Moon]; a History of Lunar Cartography and Nomenclature by E.A.Whitaker (Cambridge, 2000), and the atlas [/Wilkins%20and%20Moore The Moon] by Hugh Percy Wilkins and Patrick Moore.

More sources:
- Op Ontdekking in het Maanland, by A.J.M.Wanders (Het Spectrum, 1949). Wanders' greenish-colored moonmap shows Riccioli's "terra"-names, and some of Krieger's subdivisions in the Carpathians and the Riphaeus range.
- Maanmonografieen, by Harry de Meyer (1969 version) and Tony Dethier (1989 version). Both books are goldmines for those who want to explore Wilkins's "new" nomenclature!
- The Hallwag moonmap by Hans Schwarzenbach. Shows many of Wilkins's "new" names!
- The Rand McNally moonmap. Shows some unofficial names of very mysterious origin (!), and also Wilkins's "new" names.
- The Falk moonmap. A cornucopia of unofficial names! (Lamech's, Wilkins's, Krieger's, etc...).

LPOD Articles

The Lunar Craters Houston, Florida And Texas -- Phil Stooke's overview of the informal Apollo 8 nomenclature
US-1 and Other Signposts -- Phil Stooke's overview of the informal Apollo 10/ Apollo 11 nomenclature

This page has been edited 1 times. The last modification was made by - tychocrater tychocrater on Jun 13, 2009 3:24 pm - mgx2