From The Moon
Jump to: navigation, search


All the information in this wiki comes either from other sites, reference materials or from individual contributors. All are needed - please help! Here are explanations of the sources and meanings of the information types.

Page Title

Names for craters, mountains and other features come from the International Astronomical Union (IAU) official list. Other names were created by NASA and US Geological Survey Moon mappers in the 1960s and 70s, but never adopted. And many that were once IAU-official are no long so (especially names of peaks followed by Greek letters and rilles followed by Roman Numerals). Still others are commonly used, yet totally unofficial names (e.g. Valentine Dome).

Lat:, Long:, Diameter: km, Depth: km, Rukl, USGS age

This line of numeric data comes from the IAU list, from Rükl's book, Atlas of the Moon (and its ultimate source is the IAU also), and from Wilhelms, 1987. Crater diameters in the IAU list are largely from the System of Lunar Craters catalog from the 1960s (that I co-authored). Typical errors are a few percent but there are others up to 10% and sometimes larger. Crater depths are poorly known except for measures published by Arthur (measured under my direction in the early 1970s) and Dick Pike's determinations from LTO high resolution topographic maps. Kurt Fisher has collected together all depth measures and has written a good history of them. Jim Mosher has started adding depths using LTVT. USGS ages or Stratigraphy come from Wilhelms, 1987 and various USGS maps.

Main Image

The images used to illustrate the-Moon come from two main sources - the Digital Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas or the better copies at the Lunar Orbiter Photo Gallery, both online at the Lunar & Planetary Institute (LPI), and the LPOD Photo Gallery. The Gallery images come from dozens, maybe hundreds of amateur astronomers, as well as from Paolo Amoroso and others who cut images from online Lunar Orbiter and Clementine collections. I brazenly make the assumption that people who have freely submitted their images to the LPOD Photo Gallery (and LPOD itself) are happy to have their work used here as long as they are credited - as they are in italics under the each image. If you are an amateur astronomer please consider sending your great telescopic images to us. We want to have both a high resolution spacecraft image and a telescopic image to provide the Earth perspective. Note: The copyright of the images remains with the photographer - please do not use them without permission from the photographer.


Links to other images come from three principal sources and occasional other ones. First is the LPOD Photo Gallery, and then the Lunar Orbiter collection at LPI. Occasionally there are links to Apollo or other sources. This feature of the-Moon is automated so sometimes when the links are clicked no images appear. That may mean either there are no images of the feature at the source or that the crater name is two words or has a diacritical mark that hasn't been hand-corrected yet. Note that the new window with the linked image appears in the the-Moon window so it is necessary to click your browser's back button to return to the-Moon.


This section begins by identifying the full IAU map zone for the stated coordinates, including the Region, Province and sub-province letter codes. Links to maps are generally to the Lunar Aeronautic Charts (LAC) of the 1960s and 1970s, and the USGS Geologic maps from the same period. Some Lunar Topographic Orthophotomaps (LTOs) maps are also available - these are the best existing maps of the Moon, but only cover about 20% of the surface (and names on them are sometimes incorrect). As with images, sometimes no map is found because it doesn't exist. Most pages also include links to the IAU nomenclature maps of the USGS Digital Atlas. These are PDF files in the same format as the LAC charts, but covering the entire Moon are drawn on a color-coded shaded relief background. There are new versions of these charts using a Lunar Orbiter background that are generally not linked to from the pages. To see the Lunar Orbiter version insert the text "_lo" after the map name and before the ".pdf" in the URL (for example, "lac_1.pdf" becomes "lac_1_lo.pdf").


I plan to write descriptions based on understanding of what is visible rather than simply describing it. But there are thousands of lunar features and I get older each day - I'll probably never finish, so I invite others to also contribute - just start a new paragraph and sign your name at the end.

Description: Elger

Thomas Elger was a classic lunar mapper of the late 1800s. His hard to find book, The Moon, has been digitized by Project Gutenberg and is freely available online. Please note that Elger's convention for "east" and "west" is opposite to that in current use (a change made by the IAU in the early 1960s) but that we have changed all of Elger's directions to conform to the IAU sense.

Description: Wikipedia

Amazingly, Wikipedia has a description of every crater and most IAU-named features on the Moon. They describe where the crater is located and its state of preservation - its a starting point!

Additional Information

This is a potpourri of facts that don't fit in any other category. So far there is information on additional depths and heights, central peak compositions, radar brightness, steep slopes - more is coming! Please document where information that you add comes from.

Data Sources for Additional Information


Thousands of lunar features have names, and observing or studying the Moon is more interesting when some of this history is known. Most of the information here comes from Wikipedia - the name itself links back to the source page and the rest of the sentence is typically from Wikipedia. We are also adding information of the source of the name - who named it - and previous names, mostly from Whitaker.

LPOD Articles

I have written more than 1000 short articles for LPOD. Included here are links to ones that provide useful images or descriptions of the entry. Of course, every day there is a new LPOD so there are always more to add to this wiki!

LROC Articles (Posts)

There are more than 900 of these articles (aka posts). Few of the MoonWiki's pages for individually described and officially named surface formations received their links to the corresponding LROC-articles. It should require a daily job to include the links to every one of the 900 articles. The LROC pages have their own search system to get the article you need, but, not every officially named surface formation is registered in their catalog.


Listings (and links when possible) to articles that provide significant information about the feature.

The Sourcebook Project (William R. Corliss)

A very large number of scientific and astronomical articles from the Sourcebook Project (William R. Corliss) are also briefly mentioned in the MoonWiki's pages (mostly in the alphabetically arranged pages for individually described and officially named lunar formations). You will find these Sourcebook-articles always at the lower parts of the pages. They give the MoonWiki-Project an extra sort of "appendix" to the strange and unknown side of science and astronomy.


The hardest part of lunar studies is figuring out how to say all these peculiar names! Here is how.

Chuck Wood, June 17, 2007
With additional notes and "appendix" sections by Danny Caes