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The creation of the Virtual Moon Atlas by its authors would not have been possible without the support of several world specialists in the Moon and the enormous preliminary work of the official organizations involved in the exploration of the Moon.


The authors would like to thank Jeff Gillis-Davis of the “Lunar and planetary institute” who authorized Christian Legrand in 1997 to extract images from the plates of the “Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon” (LOPAM) and to use them for this software. This atlas can be viewed online at the following address:

The authors also thank David Seals and his team at the “Jet Propulsion Laboratory” for providing them with high quality aerographic textures of the surface of the Moon on the site:

We must also thank Professor Mark S. Robinson, with his team, who allowed us to use the remarkable mosaics which they established from the high-resolution images of the Clementine probe and which are accessible from the site: These textures are used under the copyright of “USGS astrogeology”.

The “United States Geological Survey (USGS)” itself must also be thanked for having produced the remarkable site “Astrogeology / Webgis” which makes available online the geological lunar maps used in successive versions of the VMA (see

The integration of the photos taken during the Apollo missions and by the Ranger, Lunar Orbiter 1,2,3,5, Surveyor, GRAIL and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter probes was allowed thanks to the general authorization of NASA as part of its public relations planned on the site

The creation of images of lunar formations and textures taken by the Clementine and Lunar orbit probes was made possible by the existence of the huge photo library also put online by the “United States Geological Survey (USGS)” on its site “ Planetary Data System / Map a planet ”which you can consult at:

Thanks also to Charles Wood who agreed to provide the list of articles of the famous “Lunar Notebook” which he writes every month in the magazine “Sky and telescope” and the L100 to be able to incorporate them into the database. Thank you also for his help in finding the documents used in the Atlas.

Jonathan McDowell, a NASA scientist involved in the Chandra mission, agreed that part of his lunar crater database would serve as the basis for the VMA base on the dark side indexed craters. Its complete database can be found on its website:

Special thanks to Dr. Alan Binder, Director of the Lunar Prospector mission for allowing us so enthusiastically to use the probe data.

Bernard Foing of the European Space Agency has supported us in our work for a great number of years and we are grateful to him for it.

We must also thank Mary Ann Hager of the Lunar and Planetary Institute who allowed us to use extracts from the topographic maps “Lunar Astronautical Charts” and “Lunar Maps”, as well as plates from the “Consolidated Lunar Atlas” and original photos of the Apollo missions digitized by this organization

A big thank you to Linda Chappell of the Lunar and Planetary Institute for her help in preparing for our participation in the “Combined Exhibits” of the “Lunar and Planetary Science Conferences” which are held in March near Houston, Texas.

A big thank you also to Niels Noordhoek for his program of “de-screening” of LOPAM images which allowed us to give a facelift to the oldest of VMA's image libraries

Thanks also to the engineers and scientists of the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) for putting online the fabulous data and the wonderful images taken by the Kaguya probe. You can admire this remarkable work on the sites:

We must also once again thank Professor Mark S. Robinson (School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ) and his team for the remarkable mosaics they have created from the high resolution images of the probe. LRO.

Thank you also to the Chinese scientific authorities for putting the Chang'é 2 lunar map online with free access in February 2012.

Another sincere thanks to G. Salamuniccar, S. Loncaric, and E. Mazarico for allowing us to use the LU78487GT database. The reference for their great work is: [1] Goran Salamuniccar, Sven Loncaric, Erwan Mazarico, “LU60645GT and MA132843GT / catalogs of Lunar and Martian impact craters developed using a Crater Shape-based interpolation crater detection algorithm for topography data.” / Planetary and Space Science, Elsevier Science, Oxford, UK, January 2012, vol. 60 num. 1 pp. 236-247, doi: 10.1016 / j.pss.2011.09.003.

Kudos to the team of Jennifer Blue from the United States Geological Survey's Astrogeology Branch (and curator of the official list of Planetary Names of the IAU) for having updated the lunar nomenclature based on LRO data.

Also a big thank you to the Ciel & Espace team (Alain Cirou, Jean-Luc Dauvergne, David Fossé, Eric Piednoel, Philippe Hénaréjos…) who regularly mention in the magazine the existence of VMA.

We also owe a lot to the work accomplished by Charles Byrne, Don Wilhelms and their team for having created the “Improved lunar crater database” and making it available to scientists and developers.

Many thanks to the team of two GRAIL probes who made available under the direction of Maria Zuber the gravity measurement results carried out by Ebb & Flow and for the explanations given to us by Professor Shengxia Gong from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Our gratitude also goes to astrophysicists Roland Lehoucq, Sylvain Boulay, Alain Riazuelo, Sébastien Renaux-Petel, Fatoumata Kebe, to Bruno Monflier and Patrick Lecureuil from Ferme des Etoiles, to Guillaume Cannat from the Guide du Ciel, to Jean-Philippe Cazard d ' Astrosurf Magazine, to Bertrand d'Armagnac of Stelvision, to Rafaello Lena of Selenology Today, for their constant support for our action.

In the United States, our thanks go also to Gary Seronik of Sky News, David Eicher of Astronomy Magazine and Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society.

Thanks to Stuart J. Robbins of the Southwestern Research Center for allowing us to use his remarkable work and to increase the VMA database which will exceed the million training courses listed.

Tribute to Brian Day from NASA whom we met at the European Planetary Science Conference 2015 in Nantes and who expressed interest in VMA and for its creation of the NASA Quickmap site

Many thanks to the NELIOTA project team of the National Observatory of Athens (Alexios Niakos / Richard Moissl et al.) For using the VMA in their work and for having authorized us with the ESA team (D . Koschny et al.) to use their database in the VMA.

A big thank you again to the USGS for the availability of its new and remarkable geological map of the Moon produced by directed by Corey M. Fortezzo (USGS), Paul D. Spudis (LPI), and Shannon L. Harrel (SD Mines).

Our thanks go to David O'Brien of the Planetary Science Institute (PSI) and to Renée Dotson of the Lunar and Planetary Institute for allowing us to use the texture made by David from the LPI's “Lunar Astronautical Charts” in the AVL .

All our gratitude to Dr Jinzhu Ji, Dr Dijun Guo, Dr Jianzhong Liu and their team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences for making available their new lunar geological map.

The amateur astronomers who have allowed us to include their images in special libraries are also to be thanked very much:
- Wes Higgins
- Paolo Lazzarotti
- Mike Wirths
- Craig Zerbe
- Zac Pujic
- Damian Peach
- The team working at the 1m telescope of the Pic du Midi (JL Dauvergne, P. Tosi, E. Rousset, M. Delcroix, F. Colas, C. Villadrich, T. Legault…) from the Midi-Pyrénées Observatory
- Luc Cathala
- Christian Villadrich
- Jean-Pierre Brahic

Finally, thank you to all future people who realize or who will volunteer for the translation of the software and the database, thus making it possible to offer this tool to amateur astronomers around the world.

en/thanks.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/19 18:05 by admin