Mapping and naming the Moon

The oldest known illustration of the Moon was found in a passage tomb in Knowth, County Meath, Ireland. The tomb was carbon dated to 3330–2790 B.C.[2] However, this does not qualify as a map because no names were given to the features. Likewise, historical drawings of the Moon were made by Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Harriot (1609), Galileo Galilei (1609) and Charles Scheiner (1614).[3] The first serious attempts at naming the features of the Earth's moon as seen through a telescope were made by Michel Florent van Langren in 1645. His work is considered the first true map of the Moon, as it portrayed the various lunar maria, craters, and mountain peaks and ranges. Many of the features were given names that had a distinctly Catholic religious character, using the period names of Catholic royalty for craters and the names of Catholic saints for the capes and promontories. The maria were given Latin names of seas and oceans. Minor craters were given the names of astronomers, mathematicians, and other notable scholars of the past and present periods. In 1647, Johannes Hevelius produced the rival work titled Selenographia, which formed the first lunar atlas. Hevelius ignored the nomenclature of Van Langren, and instead adopted the names of terrestrial features. These were mapped in a manner that corresponded to their place names on the Earth, particularly with respect to the ancient world as known to the Roman and Greek civilizations. This work of Hevelius proved influential among European astronomers of the period, and the Selenographia served as the standard reference work for over a century. The modern scheme of lunar nomenclature was devised by Giambattista Riccioli, a Jesuit priest and scholar who lived in northern Italy. His Almagestum Novum was published in 1651 as a defense of the Catholic views during the Counter Reformation. In particular he argued against the views espoused by Galileo and Copernicus that favored a heliocentric model with perfectly circular orbits. The work contained scientific reference material based on knowledge of the period, and was widely used by Jesuit teachers of the time. However the only significant aspect of the work to survive to the present period is Riccioli's system of lunar nomenclature. The lunar illustrations in the Almagestum Novum were drawn by a fellow Jesuit teacher by the name of Francesco Grimaldi. The nomenclature was devised based on a subdivision of the visible lunar surface into octants, numbered in the Roman style from I through VIII. Octant I formed the northwest section, and subsequent octants proceeded in a clockwise direction aligned with the compass directions. Thus the octant VI lay to the south, and would include Clavius and Tycho craters. The naming scheme had two components, the first used for the broad features of land and seas, and the second for the craters. Riccioli used the names of various historical effects and weather conditions attributed to the Moon throughout history. Thus there were the seas of crises (Mare Crisium), serenity (Mare Serenitatis), and fert

lity (Mare Fecunditatis). There were also the seas of rain (Mare Imbrium), clouds (Mare Nubium), and cold (Mare Frigoris). These were given their names in the Latin form. The continental areas between the seas were given comparable names, but were opposite the names used for the seas. Thus there were the lands of sterility (Terra Sterilitatis), heat (Terra Caloris), and liveliness (Terra Vitae). However these names for the highland regions are no longer used on recent maps. See List of features on the Moon#Terra for a full list. Samples of lunar maps in the Selenetopographische Fragmente by Johann Hieronymus Schroter. Many of the craters were named based on the octant in which they were found. Octants I, II, and III were use primarily for names from ancient Greece, such as Plato, Atlas, and Archimedes. Toward the middle in octants IV, V, and VI were names from the period of the ancient Roman empire, such as Julius Caesar, Tacitus, and Taruntius. Toward the bottom half of the map were placed scholars, writers, and philosophers from medieval Europe and Arabic regions. The outer extremes of octants V, VI, VII, as well as all of octant VIII were devoted to contemporaries of Riccioli. The last also contained features named for Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. These were "banished" here far from the "ancients", as a political gesture to the Catholic Church.[citation needed] A number of craters around the Mare Nectaris were given the names of saints of the Catholic Church, following the tradition of Van Langren. These, however, were all connected in some aspect with astronomy. Later maps dropped the "St." from the names of these craters. Riccioli's system of nomenclature was widely adopted after the publication of his Almagestum novum, and many of the names remain in common use today. The system was scientifically inclusive and was considered elegant and poetic in style, so it appealed widely to the thinkers of the period. It was also readily extensible with new names following the same scheme. Thus it came to replace the nomenclature of Van Langren and Hevelius. Later astronomers and lunar mappers augmented the nomenclature with additional names of features. The most notable among these contributors was Johann Schroter who published a highly detailed map of the Moon in 1791: the Selenotopografisches Fragmenten. Schroter's adoption of Riccioli's often-used naming scheme effectively made it the standard system of lunar nomenclature. Riccioli's naming scheme was formally established as the doctrinal lunar nomenclature by a vote of the IAU in 1935, which gave standard names to 600 lunar features. The system was later expanded and updated by the IAU during the 1960s, but the new designations were limited to the names of deceased scientists. After Soviet spacecraft photographed the far side of the Moon, many of the newly-discovered features were named after Soviet scientists and engineers. All subsequent names have been assigned by the IAU, although were assigned to still-living individuals, such as astronauts in Project Apollo.