Sternberg lunar nomenclature

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Names on the Sternberg Institute's Map of the Moon, 1967/1969

Research: Danny Caes
Additional info: Jim Mosher


This page provides an alphabetical list of the provisional names which were printed on two early versions of the Complete Map of the Moon, and the accompanying nomenclature gazetteers, prepared for the Sternberg State Astronomical Institute. The first map set was created in 1967 and presented to the IAU for its consideration in the same year. The second version is a revision from 1969.

Both editions consist of six mercator projections and two polar views for a total of eight maps printed on nine sheets. Most of the names printed in Russian on the maps are listed along with their western equivalents in the Gazetteer printed on the last three sheets.

Here is a complete list of the names that the Gazetteer to the 1967 edition says appear on each map:

Note: certain prefixes that appear in the Russian were not translated into English; hence Mount Hadley appears as "Hadley" in the English-language list, etc. It should also be noted that, as with other hand-drawn maps, the fidelity of the images is not great (particularly in the 1967 version), and the placement of names is sometimes ambiguous. When these two effects are combined, the feature for which many of the provisional names were intended is uncertain.

And here is the same list, consolidated, with duplicates removed:

The preparation of the nearside portions of the 1967 maps must have been done hastily, for they omit many then-current IAU names. Here is a list of IAU-approved names that do not appear in the 1967 Gazetteer:

The 1969 revision was apparently prepared much more carefully: as well as using more accurate imagery, most of the omitted IAU names have been reinstated. In addition, in the 1969 Gazetteer provisional names that were not part of the then-accepted IAU nomenclature are carefully set off by stars.

New Names Not Later Adopted by IAU

The following proposed names appearing in the 1967 and/or 1969 Gazetteers were not used by the IAU when its final system of farside nomenclature was announced in Menzel, 1971.

Danny Caes is investigating the locations of the surface formations which received the proposed names, this via the LAC-charts in B. Bussey's and P. Spudis' Clementine Atlas of the Moon and the comprehensive nomenclature-gazetteer at the end of that atlas. All of the locations of the proposed names are on the moon's Far Side.

The numbers near the names (in the list) are those which were printed on the second version of 1969.
If all goes well, every formation's location and LAC-chart shall be mentioned near their corresponding names...

  • Bakhchivandzhi (N° 65, Korolev C at the northeastern part of Korolev itself) (presumably named for Grigory Yakovlevich Bakhchivandzhi, legendary test pilot of the pre-spaceflight era).
  • Bezout (N° 67, Mechnikov D)(presumably named for Etienne Bézout, French mathematician, 1730-1783). Note: the name Bezout is also included in the IAU's list of 195 scientists.
  • Confucius (N° 376, Paschen) (named for K'ung-fu-tzu / Confucius, Chinese thinker and social philosopher, 551 BC - 479 BC).
  • Döllen/ Dellen (N° 259, probably north-northeast of Fizeau, near "Wittram" and Tiling)(note that the depicted surface looks not quite the same as on LAC 134 in the Clementine Atlas!).
  • Drashusov (N° 280, west of Sternberg's "Rastorguev", see Rastorguev).
  • Eyraud (N° 875, a crater at the eastern part of Apollo's rim, perhaps Lovell?)(LAC 121).
  • Fratres Vavilovi (N° 107, Vavilov).
  • GDL (adopted by IAU as Catena Leuschner (GDL) ).
  • GIRD (adopted by IAU as Catena Michelson (GIRD) ).
  • Grin (seems not to be included on the 1969 version of the moonmap)(could have been Alexander Grin, Russian writer, 1880-1932).
  • Jones (probably Spencer-Jones).
  • Khandrikov (N° 797, Brouwer P)(LAC 122).
  • Kleiber (N° 359, Houzeau).
  • Kohlrausch (N° 368, which is a rather strange case, because there's no "number 368" at the location "O-8") (presumably named for Friedrich Kohlrausch, German physicist, 1840-1910). Note: the name Kohlrausch is also included in the IAU's list of 195 scientists.
  • l'Hospital (N° 460, Mitra A) (presumably named for Guillaume de l'Hopital (l'Hospital), French mathematician, 1661-1704). Note: the name l'Hospital is also included in the IAU's list of 195 scientists.
  • Magnitsky (N° 470, the northeastern section of Mach)(presumably named for Leonty Filippovich Magnitsky, Russian mathematician and educator, 1669-1739).
  • Mare Pacificus
  • Montes Sovietici previously approved (1961), but later dropped.
  • Morehouse (N° 536, at or near Ingalls).
  • Mozhaisky (N° 526, Guthnick)(presumably named for Alexander Fedorovich Mozhayskiy, Russian naval officer and aviation pioneer, 1825-1890).
  • O. Schmidt (N° 853, added by IAU to honorees in nearside Schmidt).
  • Perevoshchikov (N° 587, north of Sternberg's "Wheatstone", see: Wheatstone)(could have been named for D.M.Perevoshchikov, one of the teachers of Pafnuty Chebyshev).
  • Petrushevsky (N° 595, possibly south of Butlerov and Pease, LAC 72).
  • Rastorguev (N° 642, north-northeast of Chebyshev)(was Rastorguev a test-pilot of the pre-spaceflight era?).
  • RNII (adopted by IAU as Catena Lucretius (RNII) ).
  • Simonov (N° 686, Sanford T)(LAC 34).
  • Simpson (N° 688, Paschen L)(within Paschen M, LAC 106)(this could have been the British meteorologist George Clarke Simpson, 1878-1965)(G.C.Simpson is also mentioned on page 214 in M.G.J.Minnaert's De Natuurkunde van 't Vrije Veld, Deel 1: Licht en Kleur in het Landschap, because of his observation of a fogbow at minus 29 degrees Celsius).
  • Sinus Adlunationis (Planitia Descensus; the landing site of Luna 9).
  • Sinus Astronautorum (south of Komarov, at or near the southeastern rim of Mare Moscoviense).
  • Sinus Landing
  • Spinoza (N° 704, Wilsing)(LAC 105)(presumably named for Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher, 1632-1677).
  • Topchiev (N° 738, a small crater southeast of Buffon) (LAC 122)(Alexander V. Topchiev ?).
  • Vanini (N° 137, Paschen U)(presumably named for Lucilio Vanini, Italian free-thinker, 1585-1619).
  • Vasilchenko (N° 140, Klute).
  • Wheatstone (N° 747, east-northeast of Engel'gardt)(presumably named for Sir Charles Wheatstone, British scientist and inventor, 1802-1875).
  • Wien (N° 156, Hertzsprung D; southwest of Michelson)(presumably named for Wilhelm Wien, German physicist, 1864-1928). Note: the name Wien is also included in the IAU's list of 195 scientists.
  • Witkowski (N° 159, probably east of Tiling and "Dellen") (note that the depicted surface looks not quite the same as on LAC 134 in the Clementine Atlas!).
  • Wittram (N° 160, north-northeast of Fizeau, near "Dellen") (LAC 134).
  • Ya. Bruce (N° 117, Mariotte X) (LAC 106) (presumably named for Jacob Bruce, founder of the first observatory in Russia).

New Names Later Adopted

The following names from the 1967 edition of the Gazetteer were adopted by the IAU for use as farside names in Menzel, 1971, but not usually for the feature bearing that name on the Sternberg map. Additional names used in Menzel appear in the 1969 Gazetteer, and may have been introduced there.

Abbe, Abulwefa, Aitken, Al Biruni, Alekhin, Amici, Antoniadi, Artamonov, Artem'ev
Backlund, Bellingshausen, Belopolsky, Bhabha, Blazhko, Bolyai, Bose, Boyle, Bredikhin, Buffon, Butlerov
Campbell, Cantor, Cassegrain, Ceraski, Chandler, Chaplygin, Charlier, Chebyshev, Chernyshov, Chzhan Khen {as Chang Heng}, Crookes
de Bergerac (as Cyrano), Dedalus, Dewar, Dirichlet, Doppler, Drude
Engelgardt (as Engelhardt), Eotvos, Evdokimov
Fersman, Firsov, Fitzgerald, Fizeau, Fowler, Fratres Vavilovi (as Vavilov), Friedman (as Fridman)
Galois, Gavrilov, Gerasimovich, Glasenap, Golitsyn, Grachev, Graff
Harriott, Hayford, Hirayama
Ibn Junus (as Ibn Yunus), Icarus, Idelson, Ioffe (as Joffe)
Jansky (as Gansky?), Jones (as Spencer Jones?)
Kamerlingh Onnes, Karpinsky, Kekule, Khvolson, Kibalchich, Kimura, Kleimenov, Koch, Komarov, Kondratiuk (as Kondratyuk), Konstantinov, Korolev, Kostinsky, Kovalevskaya, Kovalski (as Kovalsky), Krasovsky, Krylov, Kulik
Langemak, Langevin, Larmor, Lebedev, Lenz, Leucippus, Levi-Civita, Litke (as Lutke), Lodygin, Lorentz, Lundmark
Mach, Maksutov, Maly (as Malyi), Mandelstam (as Mandel'shtam), Mariotte, Mendel, Meshchersky, Mezentsev (as Mesentsev), Michelson, Milankovic, Millikan, Milne, Minkowski, Mohorovicic, Moiseiev (as Moiseev), Morozov, Moulton
Nernst, Neuimin (as Neujmin), Nobel, Nother, Numerov
O. Schmidt (added to Schmidt), Obruchev, Orlov
Pannekoek, Papaleksi, Parenago, Pauli, Pavlov, Perelman, Perepelkin, Petropavlovsky, Petrov, Plaskett, Poincare, Polzunov, Purkyne
Ramsay, Roche, Rozhdestvensky, Rynin
Saha, Schlesinger, Schrodinger, Schwarzschild, Sechenov, Shajn (as Shain), Sharonov, Shi Shen, Sisakian (as Sisakyan), Smoluchowski, Sniadecki, Steklov, Sternberg, Stoletov, Subbotin
Tesla, Tikhomirov, Tikhov, Timiriazev (as Timiryazev), Tsander
Van Gu (as Wan-Hoo), Van't Hoff, Vernadsky, Vetchinkin, Vil'ev, Voskresensky
Weber, Wegener, Wells (as H. G. Wells), Wiener, Wood
Zelinsky, Zhiritsky, Zhukovsky, Zinger, Zsigmondi (as Zsigmondy)