Lunar 100



Brungart Catalog of Lunar Domes

In 1964, a young Air Force Liutinent, David Brungart, completed a MS degree at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio. This was an exciting time when preparations for Apollo were in full swing and the young Liutinent wrote a thesis called The Origin of Lunar Domes. Although it concluded discussions of various theories of dome origins, the part of the work that still has relevance is a catalog of 261 domes. Brungart did something that no other investigator of domes even tried - he estimated heights, and hence slopes for many domes, based on his own shadow length measurements. Brungart detected domes and made his measurements on sheets of the Kuiper et al 1960 Photographic Lunar Atlas (PLA) and the existing LAC.


Brungart's catalog of domes took two forms. One was a comprehensive 6 page listing (see below), and the other was a text and image description (sample page above). Unfortunately, the version of the thesis that I saw in May 2004 at the Smithsonian-Harvard Astrophysical Observatory Library was photocopied and the maps and images are poorly reproduced. However, the listing, which I here restore from obscurity, is reproduced below.

Column 1 is the dome number - note that each dome, whether isolated or in a group has its own number.

Column 2 is the dome name or number given by Brungart.

Columns 3 & 4 are the dome's direction consign coordinates and were measured on the Kuiper et al (1961) Orthographic Lunar Atlas (OLA).

Columns 5 & 6 are the dome's coordinates in the latitude and longitude system and were either measured on the LAC or converted from the eta and xi values.

Column 7 on the facing page repeats the dome number.

Column 8 is the dome diameter in kilometers that Brungart measured on OLA sheets and are said to be accurate to 500 m

Column 9 is the dome height in meters determined using the method of Gilbert Fielder based on shadow lengths and the assumption that the dome is a hemispherical cap. Brungart states that they are order of magnitude estimates.

Column 10 is the average slope of the dome, in degrees, calculated from its diameter and height, and have the same limitation on accuracy.

Column 11 is the dome's basal elevation compared to the average lunar radius of 1735.4 km, based on contours in LACs. I am surprised that all are positive.

Column 12 includes an X if the dome has a summit pit.

Column 13 includes notes about the domes morphology and a reference to where the dome has previously been listed. C is for a listing by Winifred Cameron, H is for Alika Herring, and M is the Moore and Cattermole list.

It is a great shame that this catalog was not widely distributed in the 1960s. Brungart is a distinctive name but I have had no luck finding him on the Internet. If he ever stumbles across this site, please accept thanks for work well done from this generation's lunar community!