David "Dai" Arthur

(lunar scientist)

Lunar Work

A founding member of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Arthur came to Tucson with Gerard Kuiper and Ewen Whitaker by way of Yerkes Observatory. At the LPL he oversaw work on the System of Lunar Craters (a major revision of the IAU nomenclature) and the Tucson Selenodetic Triangulation (a new system of positional control points on the Moon). He ended his career with the USGS in Flagstaff where he applied his experience primarily to the analysis of Viking photographs of Mars.

Where & When

  • Before joining Kuiper, Arthur enjoyed some repute as a member of the Lunar Section of the BAA. His activities were highlighted as an example of the kinds of significant work that could be contributed by a dedicated amateur in a 1956 article by Sky and Telescope editor Joseph Ashbrook. It seems that Arthur, then living in Workingham, England, had self-published four issues of what he called Contributions to Selenography mostly featuring measurements he made on copies of glass negatives obtained from Mount Wilson and Lick Observatories. Volume 1 was a list of 1,400 crater diameters measured by J. Young; Volume 2 gave precise positions for 490 features in Mare Imbrium; Volume 3 added 300 features in Oceanus Procellarum; Volume 4 gave formulas for converting the X-Y positions observed on a lunar plate to their positions at zero libration; and Volume 5 listed 580 points around Copernicus. Ashbrook predicted that these would become extremely rare in future years, since in some cases, less than 50 copies were distributed. - JimMosher JimMosher

Personal Information


DWG_Arthur.jpg from Whitaker, 1985 p. 24 (see also p.26)




Deceased ?


Current Contact Information/Websites




  • J. Ashbrook. (1956). "Surveying the Moon." Sky and Telescope (Aug. issue), p. 452.

This page has been edited 6 times. The last modification was made by - JimMosher JimMosher on Nov 17, 2010 11:18 am - mwsx1