A timeless and comprehensive source book
Format: paperback (revised and updated 2012 edition) before i comment on the book, let me state at the outset that amazon has done this atlas a disservice with the "look inside" display feature (copy reviewed here obtained from a source other than amazon). there are numerous pages covered by large grey-black rectangles that are not in the book, i.e., no content. there are also a number of unnecessary blank white pages from the front matter. there are too many pages of the gazetteer serving little purpose where one or two would have sufficed. there are no pages of the color charts; and no pages of either the clementine mosaics or the shaded relief equivalents! thus, how is the reader supposed to judge the content of a book primarily containing photographic plates from a visual inspection of it? i hope that amazon might see fit to re-make the "look inside" presentation for prospective buyers. that said, this review is about the revised 2012 edition of the book. the revision is a significant one, which uses new shaded relief plates constructed by bussey & spudis from the gld100 global lunar digital terrain model (dtm), and topography data from the lunar reconnaissance orbiter's (lro) lunar orbiter laser altimeter (lola) for polar areas higher than ±79°. gld100, a data set prepared by the german members of the lro camera (lroc) team and released to the planetary data system (pds) archives for use by the scientific community, was derived from wide angle camera (wac) stereo frames taken by lroc. the model covers the whole moon up to the polar limits quoted above and has a lateral accuracy of 100 m/pixel and a vertical accuracy of ±18 m. higher latitudes were excluded from the gld100 dtm because the lroc stereo images in those locations had deep shadows preventing stereo photogrammetric analysis-- hence, the need for bussey & spudis to use the lola altimetry data for those polar areas. these new shaded relief plates replace the old annotated plates in the first edition of the clementine atlas. the lola data and gld100 model were not available for the 2004 first edition. the revised atlas, printed on glossy paper, thus preserves the clementine imagery in the best possible light in a single source, as well as provides the user with the most complete gazetteer with corresponding annotated shaded relief image charts available in print. other reviews published here with dates prior to 2012 do not take the new shaded relief charts into consideration. in fact, it is easy to distinguish the user from the peruser on the basis of those reviews! the atlas does retain the format of the original edition. part i is a 60 page text with several sections, some of them new, that provide concise summaries of lunar orbital motion and properties; a brief history of early lunar spacecraft explorations (ranger, surveyor, lunar orbiter, apollo, and soviet robotic landers); more recent lunar explorations (clementine and lunar prospector); and a discussion of the seven international spacecraft sent to the moon in the past decade [smart-1 (u.k.), kayuga (japan), change'e-1 & 2 (china), chandrayaan-1 (india), and the lro and lcross (u.s.) missions]. a valuable discussion is given of the clementine, lunar prospector and some lro results with additional commentary on the international missions. these are summarized in five color plates of the topography; concentrations of the elements iron and titanium; and true color distributions from clementine; one pre-clementine color plate of the geology of the moon; a lunar prospector color plate of the thorium distribution; and an lro color plate of radar measurements in the polar regions. the lro radar observations are of special interest. they show the mini-rf synthetic aperture radar (sar) reflectivity in the polar regions. while high reflectivity in such data can be caused by smooth surface areas, it is also an indication of the presence of near sub-surface ice deposits. earlier earth-based radar observations had suggested the presence of water ice in the polar regions. the clementine radio transmitter was co-opted in an improvisational experiment to probe several dark areas near the south pole, and the results from the reflected radio waves were consistent with the presence of water ice. the lunar prospector neutron spectrometer also mapped the distribution of hydrogen at both poles, which can be related to an equivalent water ice distribution. as bussey & spudis point out, the distribution of adsorbed water in the polar areas was also one discovery of the mineralogical mapper on the later chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter. chandrayaan-1 also had a mini-rf sar imager to examine the polar regions. the lcross impactor, however, has provided the definitive answer to the question: "is there water on the moon?" by observing actual water vapor and water ice crystals in the plume raised by the impact of the centaur upper stage rocket which carried lcross (and lro) to the moon. the impact occurred in cabeus crater near the lunar south pole. the presence of water on the moon is not the only geology subject treated in the atlas. the authors also discuss in some detail the significance of rock types implied by the spacecraft observations in terms of the evolution of the crust. they tie those results to the ca. 384 kg of actual rocks and soil brought back by the apollo astronauts and the 300 g of lunar samples returned by the soviet robotic luna landers. i have emphasized the scientific evidence given in the atlas of the definite presence of water ice in the polar regions because of its intense international interest, and because of the significant implications for the establishment of a permanent lunar research station at a special location near the south pole. that location is the rim of the 21 km diameter shackleton crater, a flat area which receives 80% sunlight during the long 'winter' day, and even more during 'summer'. a location providing cheap natural energy and water makes it a likely candidate for a future permanent, inhabited outpost. not discussed with the geology of the moon, however, is the presence of helium-3 (he-3) in the lunar regolith, the light isotope of helium carried by the solar wind and locked into the upper few m of the lunar soil [see my review of "return to the moon" by harrison h. schmitt]. it is not found naturally on earth because of the deflection of the solar wind by the terrestrial geomagnetic field. its usefulness as an environmentally clean nuclear fuel source for the production of electricity, however, makes it an economically viable means to oil and coal independence for the country which can develop methods of its return to earth. plate 3 in the atlas of the titanium distribution mapped by clementine essentially gives the distribution of the highest concentrations of he-3. it seems that the closely packed nature of the crystalline lattice structure of ilmenite, a fairly abundant lunar mineral which is an iron-titanium oxide, inhibits the loss of trapped he-3 during the intensive thermal cycling that has occurred since regolith formation. thus, a measure of titanium concentrations is also a measure of the most abundant he-3 concentrations on the moon. the final section of part i consists of a discussion of the clementine mosaics and the gld100/lola-derived shaded relief plates given in part ii. there are 144 chart pairs in the atlas which follow the division scheme of the lunar aeronautical charts (lac) prepared by the former u.s. air force aeronautical chart and information center (absorbed into the defense mapping agency in 1972, the latter of which is now part of the u.s. national geospatial-intelligence agency). each chart pair consists of clementine 750 nm image mosaics on the left (reverse) page and the shaded relief plates on the right (obverse) page. if the book is rotated 90° clockwise, then north is at the top of both charts. the scale and grid layout is the same for both charts. the data display in both instances was generated using the software produced by the astrogeology branch of the u.s. geological survey in flagstaff, az. this comprehensive computer package is called integrated software for imaging spectrometers (isis) and is comprised of more than 300 individual modules that run on a linux platform. it is used to process all aspects of imagery data from previous and current u.s. spacecraft. with appropriate modules, the clementine raw images were radiometrically and photometrically calibrated and combined into mosaics using mercator, lambert conformal, or polar stereographic projections depending on the location of a given lac. there are approximately 80 individual clementine images averaging 200 m/pixel in a lac mosaic. because the mission goal of the uv-vis clementine camera was to obtain photos through a suite of different color filters, including 750 nm, in order to produce areal spectra useful for mineralogical mapping, images were obtained with the local sun elevation as high as possible to minimize shadows. as a result, the clementine plates in equatorial to mid-latitudes resemble photos taken when the moon is full. however, higher latitude charts from 48° to the poles show much more topographical detail. new to the atlas are the corresponding annotated charts on the obverse pages produced from the gld100 dtm and lola data near the poles. these charts were constructed using the isis module called "shade", which digitally reprojects an original image or mosaic to a user-selected sun elevation and azimuth (hence, the term "shaded relief"). the authors chose the solar elevation to be 30° from the east. thus, in the equatorial and mid-latitudes, the user has at hand the appearance of the surface at both a high sun elevation which emphasizes albedo, and a moderate sun angle appearance which emphasizes topography. this aspect is useful to many who observe the lunar surface through moon filters far enough away from the terminator so that the resulting higher albedo mimics that in the clementine plates. in the higher latitudes where both clementine and shaded relief charts emphasize topography, the similarity between the two is a testament to the quality of both the clementine images and the lroc-based gld100 dtm. i should point out that the final paragraph of this section (p. lx) discusses "...small positional errors in the hand-airbrushed image..." in relation to the annotated shaded relief charts. that should have been deleted in this edition of the atlas. it refers solely to the first edition. the shaded relief charts in this updated version were digitally produced from the positionally-controlled gld100 dtm and lola polar altimetry, not from former airbrushed maps. finally, the last 26 pages of the atlas contain the gazetteer which lists more than 9000 features by name. each page consists of four primary columns divided into five parts containing the feature name, latitude, longitude, crater diameter, and the lac chart number in which it is located. unquestionably, this edition of the clementine atlas is an essential resource for anyone observing the moon or researching any aspect of it. the presence of the corresponding shaded relief charts under a fixed illumination, based on a model lunar surface derived from original lroc stereo images, makes this atlas useful for many years to come!