Feature Nomenclature

Albedo feature - unusually dark or light
Boulder tracks - narrow grooves left by rolling or sliding rocks and boulders
Catena - a chain of craters
Central peak composition - chemical makeup of crater central peaks
Concentric crater - small crater with two rims, sort of..
Crater - circular depression
Cryptomaria - hidden maria
Dark-halo - low-albedo deposits surrounding some craters
Dorsum - ridge
Floor Fractured Crater -impact morphology modified by volcanic-related activity
Fossa - long, narrow depression
Lacus - "lake" (small plain)
Landing site name - at or near Apollo landing site
Lunar Basin - extremely large impact craters
Mare - "sea" (large circular plain)
Minor feature - extremely small named craters
Mons - mountain
Montes - mountain range
Oceanus - "ocean" (very large dark area)
Palus - "swamp" (small plain)
Planum - high plain
Planitia - low plain
Promontorium - headland or promontory
Pyroclastic - type of rocks of volcanic origin
Radar bright - radar bright craters are young
Ray craters - craters with prominent 'rays' extending outward
Rima - fissure (Latin) or rille (German for groove)
Rupes - fault
Satellite feature - lettered crater
Sinus - "bay" (small plain)
Swirl - bright areas typically associated with strong magnetic anomalies
Terra - obsolete term for bright highland areas
Thermal anomaly crater - craters that have temperature anomalies during eclipses (described in Moore et al, 1980)
Tholus - small, domical hill
Vallis - valley
Volcano - possible or actual


ALPO - Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers
BA - British Association for the Advancement of Science
BAA - British Astronomical Association
DMA - Defense Mapping Agency
GAISH - Sternberg Institute
GDL - Gas Dynamics Laboratory
GIRD - Group for the Study of Reaction Motion
GLR - Geological Lunar Researches Group
IAU - International Astronomical Union
JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
JSC - Johnson Space Center
LPACC - Lunar Photography and Cartography Committee
LPI - Lunar and Planetary Institute
LPL - Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
RNII - Rocket Research Institute
TGLN - Task Group for Lunar Nomenclature
USGS - United States Geological Survey
WGPSN - IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature

Acronyms and abbreviations

AIC - 1:500,000 map series (1/4 of LAC zone, very limited coverage)
CMP - Command Module Pilot (Apollo program)
CSM - Command Service Module (Apollo program)
DEM - digital elevation model
IAU directions - north up, east to right
IAU nomenclature - official system for naming Lunar features
JPL Horizons - online solar system ephemeris
LAC - 1:1,000,000 map series (44 maps, partial coverage, nearside only)
LAC zone - notation defining lunar map area
LM - Lunar Module (Apollo program)
LM map series - 1:1,000,000 map series (updates of LAC series; 11 maps only)
LMP - 1:5,000,000 map series (3 maps, full coverage), also: LMP-Lunar Module Pilot (Apollo program)
LO - Lunar Orbiter
LPOD - Lunar Photo of the Day (website)
LRL - Lunar Receiving Laboratory
LRO - Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
LROC - Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Cameras
LTM - early nearside topographic map in east and west hemispheres
LTO - 1:250,000 map series (1/16th of LAC zone, partial coverage in Apollo zone)
LTP - Lunar Transient Phenomena
LTVT - Lunar Terminator Visualization Tool (computer program)
PDS - NASA Planetary Data System for distribution of spaceprobe results
PI - principal investigator
Map-a-Planet - on-line service for interactively creating lunar maps
S-IVB - (or S-4B) - The stage of the Saturn-V rocket which boosted the CSM and LM out of Earth orbit, enroute to the moon (Apollo program)
SIM - Scientific Instruments Module (Apollo program)
Topophotomap -- same as LTO but covers smaller area; various scales; limited coverage
ULCN - Unified Lunar Control Network
VIP (VIP-site).
VMA - Virtual Moon Atlas (computer program)
Xi-Eta - position of nearside feature in X-Y coordinates

Other terms

Albedo - the reflectance of a surface
Anaglyph - stereoscopic image composed of two slightly shifted images, both in opposite colors
Apollo 8 - first manned mission to orbit the moon (december 1968).
Apollo 10 - second manned mission to orbit the moon (may 1969). See Apollo 10 Flight Journal (David Woods, Robin Wheeler, Ian Roberts).
Ashen Light (see Earthshine).
Clair-obscur - "features" produced by patterns of light and shadow; also called "Trompe l'oeil"
Colongitude - 90° minus longitude of subsolar point
Conjunction - Moon and Sun in same direction in sky
Earthshine - Earth-to-moon reflected sunlight, also called "Ashen Light"
Elongation - apparent angle between Sun and Moon
Evening Terminator - line of sunset on the Moon
First Quarter Moon (see: The Moon's Phases).
Full Moon (see also: The Moon's Phases).
Gibbous Moon (see: The Moon's Phases).
Grazing Lunar Occultation
Last Quarter Moon (see: The Moon's Phases).
Librations - apparent rocking motions of the Moon as viewed from Earth
Limb - the Moon's edge
Lunar Heliotrope Project
Lunar Orbiter - space mission
Lunar theory - mathematical descriptions of the Moon's motions
Lunation - the interval from one New Moon to the next
Lunar Pyroclastic Volcanism Project - USGS cataloging of volcanic ash deposits
Morning Terminator - line of sunrise on the Moon
New Moon (see: The Moon's Phases).
North Pole - the moon's pole at 90° North
Opposition - Moon opposite Sun in sky
Opposition Surge - increase in brightness near zero phase angle
Pareidolia - images of living creatures (mostly faces) and other familiar objects seen in Earth's and the moon's surface formations (an optical illusion, often called "Trompe l'oeil"), see also page Clair-Obscur effects on the Moon's Surface (a handy overview of terminator-related optical illusions)
Phase - illuminated fraction of Moon
Phase Angle - angle between Sun and observer as seen from Moon
Phases - named points in the lunar cycle (New, First Quarter, Full, Last Quarter)
Resolution - the size of the smallest detectable detail
Retro-Reflection phenomena - lunar Heiligenschein
Selenographic Coordinates - system of latitude and longitude on Moon
Stratigraphy - system to rank relative age of rocks
South Pole - the moon's pole at 90° South
Sub-Earth Point - location on surface where Earth is directly overhead
Subsolar Point - location on surface where Sun is directly overhead
Sun angle - angle of sun above local horizontal
Synodic month - interval from New Moon to New Moon
Terminator - the line separating the sunlit and shadowed side of the Moon
Zero-point of Latitude and Longitude (near Oppolzer A).

This page has been edited 130 times. The last modification was made by - DannyCaes DannyCaes on Jan 20, 2013 6:00 am