Photographic Lunar Atlas

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Kuiper et al.: Photographic Lunar Atlas (1960)

(glossary entry)


Additional Information

  • This large red box of printed photographs was prepared under contract to the United States Air Force and is sometimes referred to as the USAF Photographic Lunar Atlas. There was apparently both a civilian and an Air Force version, although I never saw the latter. - tychocrater Oct 7, 2007
    • This thread on a lunar discussion forum includes a photo of the Air Force edition, in which the photos appear to have been mounted on black paper, as in a traditional photo album, rather than boxed.
  • The work is said to contain 281 illustrations including 212 photos (from a number of observatories) presented at a uniform scale and showing the selected regions with various illuminations. These printed map sheets were used for measurements of crater diameters reported in the System of Lunar Craters catalog.
  • A list of changes to the lunar nomenclature proposed in Table III were later approved by the IAU.
  • The original atlas was complemented by four promised supplements published in the following years:
    Orthographic Atlas of the Moon (1960)
    Rectified Lunar Atlas (1963)
    Consolidated Lunar Atlas (1967)

LPOD Articles


  • Kuiper, G. P.; Arthur, D. W. G.; Moore, E.; Tapscott, J. W.; and Whitaker, E. A. 1960. Photographic Lunar Atlas Based on Photographs Taken at the Mount Wilson, Lick, Pic du Midi, McDonald and Yerkes Observatories. Nat. Sci. Foundation (Contract AF-19(604)-3873).
  • Whitaker, 1985 includes details of the development of the Photographic Lunar Atlas, for which Kuiper began collecting images as early as 1955
  • Copy sold at Christies