- Hardcover: 329 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 2005 edition (May 19, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1852338865
- ISBN-13: 978-1852338862
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,790,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon 2005th Edition
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From the reviews:
Choice Outstanding Title! (January 2006)
"With plans to return astronauts to the Moon, our nearest planetary body is of obvious interest at the moment. … The book has been organised to make it easy for astronomers to use … . the quality of reproduction in this volume is excellent and readers will undoubtedly spend endless hours vicariously exploring the lunar surface. " (International Space Review, 2006)
From the Back Cover
In 1967, Lunar Orbiter Mission 4 sent back to Earth a superb series of photographs of the surface of the Moon, despite severe degradation caused by scanning and the reconstruction processes involved in transmission from lunar orbit.
Using 21st century techniques, Charles Byrne - previously System Engineer of the Apollo Program for Lunar Orbiter Photography - has removed almost all the artifacts and imperfections to provide a comprehensive and beautifully detailed set of images of the lunar surface.
The book has been organized to make it easy for astronomers to use, enabling ground-based images and views to be compared with the Orbiter photographs. The photographs are striking for their consistent Sun angles (for uniform appearance). All features are identified with their current IAU-approved names, and each photograph is located in terms of latitude and longitude. To help practical astronomers, all the photographs are systematically related to an Earth-based view.
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To see what I mean, take a look at "The Process used to clean up scanning artifacts" on the accompanying CD.
The coverage is very thorough, though there are a few irksome "misses" that were unavoidable due to the nature of the orbiter's path.
Any "lunartic" is going to enjoy this reference book. From the visual standpoint it is a superb job and one wonders why it was not done years ago. Likewise, there were other missions whose results would benefit from this treatment, although their coverage was different and less complete. In any case, I find this an extremely interesting and valuable resource.
The bad news is that the index is bad. To find a named feature, it's not always possible to use the index (many important and common ones are missing: e.g., Aristarchus, Eratosthenes ...).
To wander through the photos in a predetermined path (without reference to a specific feature) is also a chore at times as the organization is according to the original photo numbers and not to an overlaid organizational scheme such as a high-level map. It is easy to get lost and it is sometimes hard to find your way out again. Since the processing is so well done, this is less disheartening than it would otherwise be ... I find myself staying "lost" on purpose sometimes, discovering vistas I didn't know were there before losing my way. But to a technical writer it's discouraging to see such potential missed for lack of a truly good index.
Producing an IAU Nomenclature-based index would be a great project for someone with the time!
The book comes with a CD which I haven't found to improve on the printed index: the indexes that are on the CD are PDF files that are NOT linked to the actual photos, so to use them you need multiple windows open on-screen simultaneously. It would have been far more convenient to provide the indexes in html form with links to the proper photographs.
On the plus side -- and it is a HUGE plus, in my opinion -- both medium- and high-resolution images of each photo are on the CD and they are gorgeous images, especially given the technology used to produce the original photos.
All in all, this is an extremely valuable reference, and one I am using almost daily. So perhaps I am being a bit nit-pickety here. It's only the indexing bit that prevents this getting my 5-star rating: If I could award it 4.75, I would.