Getting hold of a beautiful map of the moon

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    Andrew Read

    I’m sorry for posting such a shallow question, but I’m looking for an atlas of the moon to instruct myself as a novice.

    The complication is that having seen reproductions from Elger’s map and sketches of the moon (thank you, Bill Leatherbarrow for including them in your book!),  I won’t be happy with anything less aesthetically inspiring.  A “photo atlas” or line drawing certainly won’t make the grade, even if it is functionally excellent 🙂

    I did see a few s/h Elger fold-out atlases published by Philips the 1960’s for sale online, and this may be my best option, but inevitable they will be worn and fragile, so not ideal.

    Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

    Bill Leatherbarrow


    By far the best lunar atlas (and it fully meets your aesthetic criteria) is the one by Antonin Rukl, published some years ago by Sky Publishing. Unfortunately, it is now out of print and second-hand copies command very high prices.

    Sky also publishes laminated maps of the Moon by Rukl, and these are still in print. They are available in normal and SCT-with-diagonal orientations. They are reasonably priced.

    Hope this helps!

    Andrew Read

    Hi Bill, thank you very much indeed.  I didn’t expect to meet you on the forum.  Your book is thoroughly engaging, thank you for it.  If I am observing with a refactor and star-diagonal (currently a Borg ED-76, which shows plenty on the moon with a very clear image), I assume that I need the SCT-with-diagonal version, specifically this one?

    Bill Leatherbarrow


    Yes, that’s the one. It should help you find your way around the Moon using your refractor with a diagonal.

    Happy hunting!

    Denis Buczynski

    Hi Andrew I used a book called Moon Mars and Venus A concise guide in colourpublished by Hamlyn in 1978. It contains the Rukl map in small sections and is very easy to use at the telescope Attached is a one of the sections which I have scanned. It is available from Amazon as a used book for about £20

    Peter Anderson

    I have an Elger’s Map of the Moon on the wall of my observatory in a glass picture frame, that I put over an old watercolour, and it has ‘lived’ on the wall above the desk these last 39 years. I originally bought it in the late 50’s/early 60’s.

    Being a lunar observer (occultations mostly), I refer to it regularly for the odd identification and check of terminator etc. etc.

    Rukl’s book is good, but this map is ‘in my face’ every night if I need it. 

    I also bought ‘The Moon’ by Wilkins and Moore, (the book with the 300 inch map).  The lunar detail really looks impressive, but it is largely unusable. I can believe the complaints that there is a lot of spurious detail.

    Now, as far as the mirror reversed images are concerned (and they can be a pain), there are relatively cheap ‘correct view’ prism diagonals available.  Avoid the 45 degree units. Those I have seen are not a great quality and exhibit flares across the field for bright object. Besides they are a pain at high altitudes.  But consider the correct view 90 degree unit. The downside is that the light path is 12mm longer than a standard prism. (the 45 degree one is even longer), and the light path is only about 20mm wide due to the nature of the prism. But for standard eyepieces, say 25mm focus and below, the drop off in light near the edges is not really apparent, and an oldie like me does not have to re-learn directions when I use a lunar map or find a star field or whatever. I have one living on my C14 and another on the 150mm refractor. (The other SCT’s till have the standard prisms.)

    I don’t know UK prices but a retail Australian suppler has a standard 90 degree diagonal for $39 and the ‘correct view’ unit for $49. This would equate to around 21 and 26 UK pounds. So they are cheap.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    I have that book but it never occurred to me that the lunar maps were the ones under discussion.  They are indeed beautiful and practical, not that I ever look at the moon through a telescope any more.

    Added in edit: I forgot to mention that I have the French translation.

    Roger Dymock

    Hi Andrew,

    You might be interested in ,The mapping of the moon’ exhibition at The Map House in London –


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