Recently in Moon Category

Crater Wargo

NASA Asks International Astronomical Union to Name Lunar Crater After Mike Wargo

"NASA is asking the International Astronomical Union to name a crater on the moon in his honor "so his name will be forever enshrined in the heavens."

- NASA Lunar Exploration Analysis Group Statement on the Passing of Dr. Michael Wargo, earlier post
- Mike Wargo, earlier post

2011 NASA Lunar Workshops for Educators

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, mission is sponsoring a series of workshops for educators of students in grades 6-12. These workshops will focus on lunar science, exploration and how our understanding of the moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has allowed scientists to measure the coldest known place in the solar system, map the surface of the moon in unprecedented detail and accuracy, find evidence of recent lunar geologic activity, characterize the radiation environment around the moon and its potential effects on future lunar explorers and much, much more!

Workshop participants will learn about these and other recent discoveries, reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, interact with lunar scientists and engineers, work with real LRO data and learn how to bring these data and information to their students using hands-on activities aligned with local, state and national standards. Laptops are strongly encouraged for those participating in this workshop.

Workshops will take place in the following locations:

-- June 20-24, 2011 -- Herrett Center for Arts and Science, Twin Falls, Idaho
-- June 27-July 1, 2011 -- Hinds Community College, Utica Campus, Utica, Miss.
-- June 27-July 1, 2011 -- McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, N.H.
-- July 25-29, 2011 -- John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
-- Aug. 1-5, 2011 -- Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.

Applications for three workshops are due April 1, 2011. Applications for other workshops are due at a later date. For more information and to register for the workshops, visit Questions about these workshops should be directed to

Lunar Craters Provisionally Named for Columbia Astronauts

Names for seven craters in the Apollo basin on the Moon have been provisionally approved by the International Astronomical Union to honor the seven Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts. The names can be seen in the list of lunar crater names in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

The names are: Husband, McCool, Chawla, L. Clark, M. Anderson, D. Brown, Ramon.

Note that first initials have been used for Anderson, Brown, and Clark to distingiush them from other crater names on the Moon which honor persons with the same surnames. [Larger image] (source: USGS Astrogeology Center)

Challenger Astronauts Memorialized on the Moon

Image: Craters in the center of Apollo basin (36°S, 209°E) named after Space Shuttle Challenger astronauts, LROC WAC mosaic, ~190 km wide [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Apollo is a 524 km-diameter impact basin located within the center of the the giant South Pole-Aitken basin. Apollo is also a Constellation Project Region of Interest, identified by NASA as a notional area for future human lunar exploration. The Constellation Region of Interest is located in the southwest corner of the mare deposit that fills this basin-within-a-basin.

After the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger, seven craters on the eastern rim of this basin were named after the crew: Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee, Michael Smith.

Go to the WAC mosaic of the entire Apollo basin and surroundings.

More information and images at LROC

1:1 Million-Scale USGS Maps of the Moon

There are many excellent maps and atlases of the Moon in print and online, with each addressing a particular objective or community. Some maps were created for lunar astronomical observers, some feature a specific type of image, and others concentrate on global coverage or a particular region of the Moon. However, none of these sources provides an up-to-date and comprehensive picture of lunar nomenclature. The lunar maps presented here have two purposes: (1) to bring together the wealth of information on the locations of named features on the Moon into a single source and (2) to keep this source current so users have access to the most recent changes in lunar nomenclature.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the internationally recognized authority for assigning nomenclature to planetary surface features. The lunar maps on this web site are based on the information contained in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, which is a dynamic listing of IAU-approved planetary surface feature names. The Astrogeology Team of the U.S. Geological Survey maintains the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature on behalf of the IAU with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). More at USGS

NASA Lunar Orbiter Video: Assignment, Shoot the Moon (1967)

National Archives: "This film summarizes the exploration of the Moon conducted through unmanned Ranger, Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter spacecraft, and shows how such detailed data and photography contributed to the first manned flights to the Moon. The film describes the complexities of closeup photography of the Moon, and includes good views of craters, mountain ranges and other lunar terrain. This film received the following awards: Golden Eagle Certificate, Council on International Nontheatrical Events (CINE), 1968; and the Award of Merit, American Film Festival, 1968."

Transcript below

NASA Honors Lunar Science Trailblazer Don Wilhelms

Don Edward Wilhelms received the Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award last night during a ceremony of the Lunar Science Forum at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The award is given annually to a scientist who has significantly contributed to the field of lunar science.

Citizen Science and The Moon

NASA Invites Public to Take Virtual Walk On The Moon

"More than 37 years after humans last walked on the moon, planetary scientists are inviting members of the public to return to the lunar surface as "virtual astronauts" to help answer important scientific questions. No spacesuit or rocket ship is required - all visitors need to do is go to and be among the first to see the lunar surface in unprecedented detail. New high-resolution images, taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), offer exciting clues to unveil or reveal the history of the moon and our solar system."

Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the MoonLunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon, By Charles Byrne

In 1967, Lunar Orbiter Mission 4 sent back to Earth a superb series of photographs of the surface of the Moon, despite severe degradation caused by scanning artifacts and the reconstruction processes involved in transmission from lunar orbit.

Using 21st century techniques, Charles Byrne, previously System Engineer of the Apollo Program for Lunar Orbiter Photography, has removed the artifacts and imperfections to produce the most comprehensive and beautifully detailed set of images of the lunar surface.

The book has been organized to make it easy for astronomers to use, enabling ground-based images and views to be compared with the Orbiter photographs. The photographs are striking for their consistent Sun angles (for uniform appearance). All features have been identified with their current IAU-approved names, and each photograph has been located in terms of latitude and longitude. To help practical astronomers, all the photographs are systematically related to an Earth-based view.

A CD is included with the book, providing the enhanced and cleaned photographs for screen viewing, lectures, etc.

The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide

The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic GuideThe Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide, By Charles Byrne

The far side of the Moon, also called the 'dark side of the Moon' was unknown to humanity until the Luna and Lunar Orbiter pictures were returned to Earth. Even since then, its nature has puzzled researchers. Now we know that a giant impact struck the near side with such force that it created the 'near side megabasin', opening the way for floods of mare and sending vast amounts of ejecta to the far side. "The Far Side of the Moon" explains this event and also documents the appearance of the features of the far side with beautiful pictures from Lunar Orbiter. As in the previous volume, "The Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon", the author has taken the original images and cleaned them of system artefacts using modern digital image processing. The best photographic coverage of the far side of the Moon has been the 150 photos taken by the Lunar Orbiter series. The other sources are pictures taken by the Apollo Command Module, which were limited to the equatorial regions, and the Clementine mission, which took pictures at a high sun angle that washed out the topography of the features. Until now, the far side Lunar Orbiter photos have only been available with strong reconstruction lines, but appear here for the first time as complete photographs, unmarred by imaging and processing artefacts. Also, this is the first book to explain in detail how the far side was deeply covered by ejecta from the Near Side Megabasin and modified by later impacts. A CD-R accompanies the book, and contains all the enhanced and cleaned photographs for use by the reader in screen viewing, lectures, etc.

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Moonrush: Improving Life on Earth with the Moon's Resources
Moonrush: Improving Life on Earth with the Moon's Resources

The Kaguya Lunar Atlas: The Moon in High Resolution
The Kaguya Lunar Atlas: The Moon in High Resolution

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon
Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon

The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide
The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide

The Clementine Atlas of the Moon
The Clementine Atlas of the Moon

The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration
The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration

Voices from the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences
Voices from the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences

Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts
Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts

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