- 1 Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names
- 1.1 Description
- 1.2 Discontinued IAU Surface Feature Names
- 1.3 The world's most complete ABC of Unofficial Lunar Nomenclature, Discontinued Nomenclature, disallowed names, proposed names, and nicknames (maintained by Danny Caes)
- 1.4 Informal Geologic Surface Formation Names
- 1.5 Additional Information
- 1.6 LPOD Articles
Unofficial, Informal and Discontinued Names
By international agreement, names for surface features on the Moon are not "official" unless they are currently approved by the 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 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
Al-Tusi (King Y)
Cape Banat (aka Promontorium Banat)
Dorsum Lambert (disallowed name)
Eppinger (Euclides D)
Hercynian Mountains/ Montes Hercynii
Promontorium Banat (Cape Banat).
W. Pickering (Messier A)
- Note: over the years many formerly 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)
- Optical Feature Names (Clair-Obscur phenomenae)
- Unofficial Names (A to F) (+ link to page of proposed names)
- Unofficial Names (G to L) (+ small interview)
- Unofficial Names (M to R) (+ list of people behind Unofficial/Informal/Discontinued Nomenclature)
- 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 Miscellany (item *A Ghost Basin Rim?*).
- Apennine Bench Formation
- 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).
- This is an alphabetic overview of all the names on the 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 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 and Naming the Moon; a History of Lunar Cartography and Nomenclature by E.A.Whitaker (Cambridge, 2000), and the atlas The Moon by Hugh Percy Wilkins and Patrick Moore.
- 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...).
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