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1966 USGS Geologic Map of the Moon: Montes Apenninus Region

Geologic Map of the Montes Apenninus Region of the Moon by R. J. Hackman. - Main View

1966 USGS Geologic Map of the Moon: Montes Apenninus Region



Geologic Map of the Montes Apenninus Region of the Moon by R. J. Hackman.
  1966 (dated)     31.5 x 48 in (80.01 x 121.92 cm)


This is the U.S. Geological Survey's stunning 1966 full color Geologic Map of the Montes Appeninus Region of the Moon. Named after Italy's Appenines Mountains, this rugged mountain range features the Moon's highest known mountain (though not highest point), and forms the southeastern border of the large Mare Imbrium, or left eye of the Man in the Moon's face. The crater Archimedes can be seen on the upper left portion of the map, Marco Polo in the lower center, and the Mare Imbrium on the lower left.

This range became famous three years after this map was made, when Apollo 15 landed here and became one of the most scientifically successful missions of the Apollo program, and the most geologically diverse site of the program.

It is believed that most of the moon's craters were formed approximately 3.9 billion years ago, during a period of intense bombardment in the Inner Solar System. The cratering rate fluctuates as collisions in the asteroid belt send fragment clusters into the Inner Solar System. This map might show hypervelocity impact craters caused by the same cluster of asteroids that, 65 million years ago, caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

As humans wouldn't land on the moon until 1969, how were we able to map its geology? The map's extraordinarily detailed metadata explains that the cartographers used photos dating back to 1960 (remember the series of Ranger missions in the mid-60's?), and observations from optical and radio telescopes, with relief created by measuring shadows, combined with an assumed sun angle and an assumed base elevation. The geology was arrived at from observing differences in, and layering of, topographical forms, and in varying albedo (amount of reflected sunlight), both of which indicate different underlying materials formed under different processes. Goals of this work included the identification of suitable moon landing locations, and sources of oxygen for possible in establishing a more permanent lunar base.

The map also includes two sectional views (from the side) of the area, detailed ‘metadata' explaining the mapmaking methodologies and symbols employed, and an index map showing the area's location on the Moon.

This map series represents a breath-taking leap forward not only in selenography (the study of the moon), begun in the late 1400s, but also in the record of humankind's fearless exploration of the world(s) around and beyond us.

This map would be a great companion piece to the other maps in the Geologic Atlas of the Moon,. It would also wonderfully complement early explorers' maps, or any of the plates from Burritt's famous 1856 Atlas to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens , one of writer H.P. Lovecraft's most prized possessions.

Created by R.J. Hackman and published as plate I-463 in the United States Geological Survey's Geological Atlas of the Moon.


The Office of the Coast Survey (later the U.S. Geodetic Survey) (1807 - present), founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. Hassler, and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Hassler lead the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Under the leadership A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey did most of its most important work. During his Superintendence, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS or USGS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. More by this mapmaker...


Geologic Atlas of the Moon. Department of Interior. US Geological Survey    


Very Good.