Bowker and Hughes : Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon

(glossary entry)


One of the major contributions to lunar mapping, this book illustrates and annotates the positions of the named features on as much of the Moon as was possible using photographs from the NASA-sponsored Lunar Orbiter missions of the late 1960's. Most of the plates are from Lunar Orbiter IV, which systematically photographed the nearside of the Moon.

Additional Information

  • The text and plates of this book are available online courtesy of the LPI. The on-line version has color overlays identifying the IAU-named features appearing on each sub-frame. These overlays do not appear in the printed version, where the names are listed at the bottom of each page and identified with letters indicating their approximate horizontal and vertical location.
  • An informal e-mail message from Jennifer Blue of the USGS identifies the overlays in the LPI version as being "some vectors" that were drawn by "Mary Ann Hager and Jeff Gillis-Davis". Their annotations contain errors, and should not, in any event, be taken as an authoritative depiction of IAU Nomenclature.
  • Higher resolution scans of most of the original (unannotated) images are available courtesy of the USGS Lunar Orbiter Digitization Project.
  • Each Lunar Orbiter spacecraft carried both medium and high resolution cameras. The high resolution cameras took long skinny pictures in a single exposure. Traditionally, each of these has been subdivided into three sub-frames (H1, H2 and H3). The high resolution plates in Bowker and Hughes each cover a single sub-frames.
  • The book contains support information (date, time, spacecraft position, etc.) for each exposure used. A simplified version of this information in Excel spreadsheet form can be obtained from the LTVT download page (look for: LTVT_Lunar Orbiter Support

LPOD Articles


  • David E. Bowker and J. Kenrick Hughes. 1971 Lunar Orbiter photographic atlas of the Moon. (Washington, National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 41 pp. + 675 plates. (NASA SP-206)
  • Gillis, J. J.; Spudis, P. D.; Hager, M. A.; Noel, M.; Rueb, D.; Cowan, J. 1999. Digitized Lunar Orbiter IV Images: A Preliminary Step to Recording the Global Set of Lunar Orbiter Images in Bowker & Hughes, 30th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 15-29, 1999, Houston, TX, abstract no. 1770.

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