September 9, 2007

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The Lunar Craters Houston, Florida and Texas

map fromPhil Stooke

The fascination with feature names is a surprising but powerful aspect of lunar exploration and observation. Names are critical for unambiguous communication, explaining why there are many official, unofficial, and no longer official lunar designations. This LPOD, and tomorrow’s, feature little known names that were never meant to be official nor even learned of by other people who study the Moon. In his soon to be released The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration, Phil Stooke maps features that were named during the planning for Apollo 8’s first ever passage around the farside of the Moon. These Farside Communications Designators were selected so astronauts and mission controllers could describe features under the Apollo 8 farside groundtrack, where there were only a few offical names from Luna 3. The Apollo 8 names were of very familiar NASA places and people, perhaps so that users of the names would have little trouble remembering them. Thanks, Phil, for saving this piece of nomenclatural history from oblivion!

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
The background map is Apollo Lunar Flight Chart.

Yesterday's LPOD: Rare Image of a Common Crater

Tomorrow's LPOD: US-1 and Other Signposts


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